I gave notice 2 months ago but I’m still here, I can’t get a raise without taking on more work, and more

It’s four answers to four questions. Here we go…

1. I gave notice two months ago, and I’m still working here

I have been working at a part-time job for the past three years. For various reasons I became very dissatisfied with the work conditions, and after finding a new job I handed in my letter of resignation. That was two months ago.

The day I was supposed to quit, my boss (the owner of the company) told me that she still hadn’t found a replacement yet, and could I please, pretty please, stay on for one more week? I agreed, because the hours don’t overlap with my new job. It does make for a very long and grueling work day, though.

“One more week” turned into two more weeks, and then three, and now it’s been six weeks since I was supposed to leave that job, with no end in sight. The boss claims that she had lined up several replacements, but they all flaked out at the last minute, so she’s still searching. We are desperately short-staffed. I’m exhausted and my performance at both jobs is suffering.

If I walk out now, my overloaded coworkers will be left to pick up the slack, and I know how hard it will be for them. Two of them confided in me that they are thinking of quitting, too. Should I just leave, without a backward glance?


You gave notice two months ago. Your company’s staffing issues are not your problem! There’s absolutely no reason why you should be accepting long and grueling days rather than simply leaving, as you originally intended to do. I understand you’re worried about the impact on your coworkers, but this is not your problem to solve — you need to be able to leave when you want to leave! This is business, not a situation where you have an obligation to sacrifice your own interests for someone else’s. People leave jobs all the time and the people left behind make do, or they decide to leave too (which might be a sensible response for them).

You’ve done more than enough. And I mean that literally — you have done too much here; you need to stop sacrificing yourself to save a company that isn’t even yours. You’re jeopardizing your new job (and at exactly the time when you’re still creating a first impression of yourself, which can be lasting). Tell your boss today that you can’t extend your notice any further, your new job needs you, and this is your last day.

2. When I ask for a raise, my company asks what more I’m willing to take on to justify it

I work for a small, family-owned company as an administrative assistant. I am the only one serving multiple execs/managers in my role. I like my job. It’s challenging and diverse, but can also be hard and stressful because we are so small. I’ve been with the company for five years now. I received a generous raise about three years ago but not since. There have been no cost of living increases.

Whenever my coworkers ask about raises, management has the same response: what more are you willing to take on to justify an increase?

I know discussing a raise means doing your research and making a case for an increase but I’m not sure how to respond to that question and research seems to show my hourly wage is average so I’ve been hesitant to bring up the topic.

I’m already doing a ton of work. I already don’t have enough time to do it all each day. I can’t take on more work to justify an increase. Does that mean I can never get a raise and am stuck at my current salary forever? That’s not sustainable and expenses certainly don’t stand still. So does this mean this is it and I’m just… stuck?

Asking what else you’re willing to take on to justify a raise ignores (a) the increase in cost of living in the last three years and (b) the fact that you are probably contributing at a higher level than you were three years ago because you’ve gotten better and better at your job over time. If your employer genuinely doesn’t think you’re better at your job than someone in their first year would be, then there are real problems — either with your work or with their ability to realistically assess performance. Most likely, though, they’re just stingy and this is their way of avoiding paying people fairly.

I’d approach it this way: “I’m contributing at a significantly higher level than when my salary was last set three years ago. For instance, ____ (examples). I’d like my compensation to reflect my growth in my position, as well as the significant increase in cost of living since then.” You could also add, “I like my job and would like to stay here, but the market rate for my work has increased and my salary has not kept up.”

If they won’t budge, then you know you’re working somewhere that isn’t willing to pay people fairly. You still wouldn’t be stuck though; you could seek a more competitive salary somewhere else … which you should strongly consider, because what they’re paying you has far less buying power than it did three years ago, meaning you’re receiving a pay cut every year you stay.

Read updates to this letter here and here.

3. I’m seeing more people being put on PIPs — is this a trend?

I recently had a coworker leave in a huff over a PIP. (I was not their manager but was in conversations with HR about it because I do QA for their team and was having to track improvements or lack thereof.) Several other friends have told me they have had to put direct reports on PIPs after months of conversations failing to get their work up to par. While I’ve read letters in the past to AAM where people report PIPs being a needed opportunity to turn things around at work, almost everyone I know managing one is also dealing with an employee who refuses to admit not only that they could improve but that their work isn’t perfect.

This is obviously just my social circle, but I’m wondering if this is part of a larger trend where companies or managers were cutting people more slack during the height of the pandemic and all that goodwill is burning out at the same time? And/or in some industries, we all lagged a bit in 2020 and 2021, but as things ratchet back up, we’re seeing the limits to some people’s skills as the people around them grow and develop and they fail to?

I wouldn’t be surprised if that accounts for some of what you’re seeing. Realistic companies did make adjustments (sometimes significant ones) to what they expected of people when the pandemic started … and as companies return to pre-pandemic expectations, some people will struggle with that, whether it’s because they genuinely aren’t equipped to meet those expectations or just don’t want to (or possibly formed new habits that they’re having trouble shaking) or because the pandemic is still impacting them in ways employers are no longer accommodating as much (see, for example, the child care crisis).

It’s also true that in the last two years a lot of managers didn’t address performance problems as forthrightly as they might have previously, because they were inclined to cut people a lot of slack (often rightly so) — but now they’re starting to, and so you’re seeing a couple years of performance management that’s been saved up and is now happening all at once.

4. Do I still need to include locations on my resume?

Do I still need to include locations on my resume? Per the traditional advice, I include the city and state for all of my professional, educational, and volunteering experiences. However, the location line takes up a lot of real estate, and in addition to saving space I’m wondering how much sense it still makes in today’s remote era. For example, my current job is 100% remote, so the location would just be … where I currently happen to live. Another example, my degree is from a well known state school — whose state is in its name — and it’s not like the city makes any difference to my qualifications. I think it would look odd to be inconsistent, though. Maybe include it for jobs but not degrees? Or only for in-person based experiences, versus my remote work/volunteering? I’m not sure. Is the norm on this changing?

You haven’t really had to list the location of your school in at least a decade or two, so skip that entirely. And it’s not strictly necessary with volunteering either, so you can save some space on both of those.

But you should keep listing the location (just city and state) of employers because it helps verify that they actually exist and can add useful context (for example, different locations might have different focuses, or it’s helpful to see that you’ve dealt with small communities vs. larger cities, or you have experience with a particular market, etc.) … and most employers just expect to see it. If the companies where you’ve worked are well known or in the same town you’re applying to jobs in now, you might be the exception to this — but generally you should include it.

If you’re remote, you should still put the location of the company for the reasons above, but you can put “(remote”) next to it.

{ 328 comments… read them below }

  1. Madame X*

    Putting the locations of your past employment should not take up that much room on your résumé. You really just need the city in the state, if you live in the United States. Try and see if you can find different résumé formats as examples. I have a pretty dense résumé and I can still find room to put the city in the state for all my past employment.

    1. Madame X*

      For example, I usually add the location right after the name of the employer on the same line.

      1. Beth*

        I have the employer name, and on the line below that, the city, state, and the years I was there. I could probably squeeze it all on one line, but that looks pretty dense to me. Even with it like this, having all that info on one line keeps things pretty contained and isn’t a problem for my resume!

        1. Theothermadeline*

          Have you tried having the employer name left-justified and the city/state/years right-justified? That leaves a lot of satisfying white space in the middle that could save you the extra line and avoid the squeeze

          1. Koalafied*

            Yep, I do something like:

            Employer – – – – Location
            Title – – – – – – – – – – – Dates
            * Accomplishment
            * Accomplishment
            * Accomplishment

            That way the location isn’t an extra line, and for the employers I worked multiple roles over time, it works nicely to have each titles and the dates in that role on the same line.

          2. Mme. Briet’s Antelope*

            I do employer name left-justified, city/state right-justified, and then job title left-justified and time I held that job title right-justified on the line below that. Gives me lots of satisfying white space AND context for role changes.

      2. Cedrus Libani*

        That’s how mine is too. I will admit that I don’t have it on every entry – I went to State College, followed by State Hospital and then grad school at University of State, City. But there’s the startup that no longer exists and also breaks the geographic theme. I have that one as Spiffy Llamas – State, City (2007-2009). Honestly, I’m not sure it’s mandatory, but it’s not costing me very much space.

      3. MCMonkeyBean*

        Yes, it sounds like that is their main issue which has several ways to address it and I think as you say adding it right after the employer is the simplest way to do it.

        My resume looks like this:
        COMPANY (City, State)
        Job Title, 2010-2015
        Summary: Very brief job description because some of the job titles are vague
        *Achievment 1
        *Achievment 2

    2. John Smith*

      It’s fairly common in the UK to see the full address of employers and educational establishments on CVs and I honestly don’t see the point. Being past middle age, I can barely remember what school I went to, never mind where it was. And don’t get me started on dates – you’re lucky if I can get the decade right!

      1. Adam*

        A couple companies ago, the company I joined sent me the results of the background check they did on me as a courtesy. They had called every employer I had listed on my resume, and the report highlighted everywhere the employer’s reported dates differed from mine. It’s been a very handy reference tool ever since!

        1. John Smith*

          Haha, exactly what’s what happened to me – it’s the only way I know where I went and when.

          It’s a nuisance though applying for jobs that ask you to list GCSEs when they were over 30 years ago (my BA with Hons is more recent and required these GCSEs but they still insist on me listing them… Sigh)

          1. Abby*

            I’m applying for something right now, and the employer’s form insists on GCSEs 20 years ago being listed with precise start and end dates, and I have no idea! I even had to go and find the year from the exam certificates, which I miraculously still have. Like you, I have A-levels and a degree for which the GCSEs were prerequisites, so why they are interested in whether I got A or B in French GCSE (for a job requiring no French) in 2002 is beyond me.

      2. londonedit*

        Working in a small industry (book publishing) I’ve never bothered with anything more than the company name on my CV, because everyone in the industry recognises the names of all the publishing companies and 99% of them are in London. I still have very basic education info on there but just ‘[name of secondary school], [town], [years attended] [10 GCSEs at grades XX to XX; 3 A levels at grade XX]’ and ‘[name of University], [dates attended], [name and class of degree]’.

        1. Retired but not dead yet*

          I’m not British so I don’t know if this is standard in the UK or not.. but why would you put your secondary school on your CV if you have a degree from a University? I could understand listing both a Bachelors from one school and a Masters from another, but.. high school?

          1. WillowSunstar*

            Some American managers put a lot of credence into where a person went to high school. Not sure why other than nostalgia, perhaps, if it was the same school or the school of a family member? Needless to say though, having a high school diploma or GED is often a requirement for jobs.

          2. londonedit*

            I clarified below that I probably wouldn’t put my secondary school on there nowadays because I’m later in my career, but in the UK GCSEs and A levels are recognised qualifications and the grades you get can be quite important for quite a long time, even if you do have a degree or other further education. I know people who have ended up going back and retaking GCSE Maths because something later in their life (like a professional certification) required the (old) UK standard of at least a C grade in Maths. It’s not as cut and dried here as ‘did you graduate from high school or not’, it’s ‘how many A levels did you do and what grades did you get’.

          3. Irish Teacher*

            I think PART of this may be that the British GCSEs and A-levels, like our Leaving Cert. and certain other qualifications in other countries are national qualifications. OK, Ireland may take this a LITTLE more seriously than the UK and many places, but the Leaving Cert. involves every student who does a subject taking the same exam and all being marked to the exact same standard – this is quite strictly enforced (I correct the Junior Cert. and even though the results of that are not used for anything, I still have to follow this very strictly).

            In college, lecturers have a fair bit of leeway to set and mark their own exams so it might not be easy to be sure if a 2H1 from one college is exactly the same level of achievement as a 2H1 from another college at the other side of the country or exactly the same as the 2H1 somebody else achieved 10 years earlier. OK, even in the Leaving Cert., there is a different exam each year, so that will be a bit different, but within a year, everybody will have taken the same exam and will have been marked anonymously, to the same standard, whereas at college, I once did two essays, one for the lecturer who was the hardest marker in the college and another for a lecturer who actually marked fairly easily. I have no doubt I did a better job on the first essay, but got two grades lower, simply because of how differently they marked.

            Also, unlike I think, in the US, we don’t have Gen. Ed. requirements. I have done no Maths since my Leaving Cert., so if I were applying to a job that required some kind of ability in Maths, the only way they could judge it was to look at my Leaving Cert. results. Nor have I taken any languages other than English and Irish since my Leaving Cert., so again, if a job wanted to know whether I had abilities in foreign languages, my Leaving Cert. would be the only way to judge (OK, that would be pointless now, as I have forgotten most of my German).

            I do think asking for Leaving Cert. results from people who have qualifications in the area you are advertising for is ridiculous. I gave the example below of the doctor who was asked for her Junior Cert. results in order to vaccinate against covid. That just strikes me as silly. But as londonedit said, it’s not so much about where you went to school as how you did on a nationwide test that compares the skills and knowledge of all the young people in the country.

            1. londonedit*

              Yep, GCSE and A level exams are the same – there can be different exam papers administered by different exam boards, but you can imagine it as every GCSE Maths student in the country taking the exact same exam papers (and no one knows what’s on them, not even the teachers, this is extremely tightly enforced) at the exact same time on the same day, no one’s allowed to look at the papers afterwards except for an official examiner that has nothing to do with the school (people like Irish Teacher will sign up to mark hundreds or thousands of papers after the exams are taken and those will come from all over the country) and then students receive their results on a nominated day in August (the GCSE and A level results are a week apart – GCSEs are the exams you take at 16, A levels are the ones you do at 18 after two years of study in a narrower range of subjects that the student will choose).

          4. RebelwithMouseyHair*

            I would put my secondary school on a CV if applying to a job in the UK, because it was one of the top ten in the country, everyone knows it’s excellent.
            I don’t bother here in France because nobody has heard of it, so I’ve never managed to leverage anything from the years I suffered at that awful elitist place!
            I’m not sure if there’s really any point putting the name of the secondary school, but I have seen plenty that do it.

        2. Cate*

          I haven’t bothered with GCSEs or A levels since I was applying for graduate positions, and they asked for them. I’ve always thought it would make you look younger? After all, they know from the fact you went to uni, that those grades were good enough for whichever uni it was. Is it something people expect to see?

          1. Toaster Oven*

            I have a PhD (and am currently applying to jobs that require both PhDs and several years postdoctoral experience). Almost every job I’ve applied for recently has asked for my GCSEs and A-levels. I attended high school in the US, so I’m like, cool, I have an advanced regents diploma and was a national AP scholar, _you_ get to figure out what that means. :p

            (To be clear, that’s sarcasm, I in fact very carefully explain my secondary school qualifications and how they translate from the US to the UK. But I really do wonder why they care, given that these are *not entry level-jobs* and I *have a PhD*.)

            1. Hats Are Great*

              Yeah, I absolutely *love* (/sarcasm) being thrown into a general application portal that’s being used across the company for factory floor jobs AND senior executive jobs, and they want to know my high school GPA (no idea!), but only have one space for “college” and can’t handle you adding additional degrees. For a job that required a JD, and provided no way for you to enter it in the (incredibly terrible) application portal.

              The other worst-ever application portal I saw had a “pick one from this list” list of colleges, which isn’t super-unusual on US applications, they just dump all accredited schools into the list. (Sometimes with a way to enter data not from the list; sometimes they forget that edge cases and/or places outside the US exist and ignore them.) But whoever had populated the limited list on this application portal had used a super-limited set of data that only gave you around 80 options (and included neither of my universities). After puzzling over it for a while, my best guess was someone populated it with the colleges of *people who already worked at the company,* which is why it was so heavy on colleges in Iowa (let us say) but had no Ivy League or California schools, and had some random small Midwestern schools (St. Olaf’s, Oberlin) in nearby states but was missing, like, Northwestern and UMich.

              1. Three Cats in a Trenchcoat*

                I understand this so hard. While applying for fellowship, I had a couple of programs that used “universal” applications throughout their hospital system, and it meant I had to do things like enter college transcripts (it was good enough for my medical school, not sure what you plan to learn there) and input things like a “major” for medical school (uh, medicine I guess???).

          2. londonedit*

            I don’t think so, I’m pretty sure my CV actually doesn’t have them on there anymore (haven’t used my CV for about five years so I can’t remember!) I meant it more as that’s how I’ve dealt with my education, I’ve never actually given the full addresses and full details of grades etc (I should have said ‘If I still have basic education info on there’!)

          3. Irish Teacher*

            Yeah, I don’t give my Junior or Leaving Cert. results unless they are specifically asked for. There ARE forms that ask for Leaving Cert. results (Junior Cert., not so much). I am guessing, as a teacher, those schools want to know what else I may have some knowledge of. Like my degree is in English and History and I did a year of Irish and Philosophy, but…I got a B1 in Geography at Leaving Cert. level, so a school might think, “hey, she got a pretty good grade in Geography and as a History teacher, she’s likely to have some understanding of the social geography at least, so she could probably cover a 1st year Geography class if we needed her to.” I also did higher level Maths and got a reasonably good grade, so…while I wouldn’t be asked to teach a Maths class, I definitely can give resource help to students who are struggling in Maths.

            I don’t include that on my CV though, though I may make reference to it in a cover letter if it looks relevant. Like if a school says “English and History teacher wanted, ability to teach Geography an advantage,” I would mention I had studied Geography to Leaving Cert. level and received a good grade.

            There WAS a situation here where Junior Cert. results (not even the equivalent of G.C.S.E.S; they are taken around the same age, but are taken less seriously as we don’t specialise as much for Leaving Cert., so they are little more than a practice run) were required of people applying to administer covid vaccines. Some of these were registered DOCTORS. It made no sense. https://www.breakingnews.ie/ireland/registered-doctor-asked-for-junior-cert-results-to-administer-covid-jabs-1103792.html

        3. Quay*

          I used to work in academic publishing in the UK, and never bothered including my GCSEs/A-levels, even as a recent grad. The only time it came up was when interviewing for a role with an academic society, where the interviewer was snuffy that I didn’t attend a Good (ie, public) School. Was quite happy to have not got that one…

      3. London Calling*

        It is? I’ve never put full addresses, just name, city and a brief description of business. As for addresses of educational etablishments, I was at school so many decades ago that two schools doesn’t even exist any more.

      4. knope knope knope*

        In the UK it is also more acceptable to have a CV more than one page long than it is in the US. Source: Hires staff in both countries.

        1. Rolly*

          To be pedantic, a CV should be as long as necessary list everything. It’s literally supposed to be your entire work/professional life.

          As opposed to a resume (typical in the US outside academia) which is a summary and should not be too long.

          It would be extremely difficult to limit a mid- or late-career academic CV or even the CV of someone in another field who moves jobs every few years to one page. A CV is a complete picture. A resume is highlights. They overlap in reality early in a careers, but are not the same.

          1. londonedit*

            In the UK though, ‘CV’ is pretty much used in the same way as ‘resume’ is in the US. We don’t make the distinction between a long academic CV and a shorter document that you’d use for jobs outside academia – most people using ‘CV’ mean ‘document of 1/2 pages listing brief employment history and qualifications’, not ‘every single job you’ve ever had and every single academic paper you’ve ever published’.

          2. L'étrangere*

            Total fantasy Rolly. You’re taking the resume terminology -way- too literally. I can assure you, having worked on both sides of the Atlantic, that there’s absolutely no intended difference, those are simply two names of the same thing. And yes there are cultural and regional differences between what people should or do put in them, like the common European mistake of including a photo. But both are supposed to represent the whole of your relevant professional experience

            1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

              You might call it a “European mistake” if you include a photo. Fact it, it’s still very much the done thing to include a photo. Sorry to be so backward! I’m always explaining it whenever I’m asked to translate CVs. And I also have to explain that no, you don’t put that you’re married with two kids, even if you think it’s a plus for you in that employers will think, good, if she has two already, she’s not likely to want a third.

            2. Rolly*

              ” no intended difference”

              That’s the problem. The word literally have opposite meanings – one is your “work life” and the other is literally “summary”, but people have gotten sloppy and mixed them. They both have value, and the mashing of meaning is a bad thing that yeah many people do.

    3. Milly Molly Mandy*

      At my UK public sector job, we actively ask candidates to remove the name, never mind location, of educational establishments from their CV before submitting. Names of candidates are also redacted by HR prior to the hiring manager seeing the application/CV. We only get the names of candidates if we interview them. Its part of the strategy for improving the organisation’s diversity, by reducing bias at shortlisting.

      1. UKgreen*

        As someone who went to an educational establishment stereotypically (and often incorrectly) associated with privilege, despite coming from a very deprived background, this approach annoys me.

        1. Blarg*

          It annoys you because you don’t get a boost from people’s incorrect assumptions about your school?

          1. London Calling*

            Incorrect assumptions work both for and against. As UKGreen has stated that they went to an educational establishment about which people make stereotypical assumptions, they’re entitled to be annoyed that those stereotypical assumptions work against them regardless of their actual personal circumstance i.e people see the school on the CV and immediately make the assumption of privilege without actually checking out the actual person. And ifUKGreen wants to be annoyed about that, UKGreen is perfectly entitled to be annoyed about that, whether or not anyone else thinks it’s a reasonable reaction.

            1. Claire*

              But they said they are annoyed at the approach of asking job candidates to leave the name of their school off of their resume.

              1. London Calling*

                Perhaps that’s because if the name of the school was added to the CV UKGreen would get the chance to explain that they aren’t the product of privilege and were at that school on merit, and redacting the school name deprives them of that chance.

                1. londonedit*

                  Yeah; if you come from an extremely disadvantaged background and you end up going to Oxford, that’s a lot more impressive than if you went to a top private school.

                2. Lydia*

                  While I understand there is pride in getting into a school on your own merit rather than being a legacy admittance, I hope you understand you are complaining about the exact thing that has harmed people with less privilege and continues to do damage to their prospects now.

              2. pancakes*

                I would’ve thought it would be seen as impressive for people from merely average disadvantaged backgrounds to go to Oxford as well considering how few applicants are admitted, but UK class politics are complicated.

                To be clear I’m open to the idea that school names should redacted from resumes on account of the many biases people often have about them. The purpose should be to reduce the opportunity for bias to show itself in hiring, though, rather than to try to flatten the accomplishments of people who went to notably competitive or rigorous schools. Not all of them will have been legacy students, and I think it’s often accurate for the ones who weren’t to say they worked hard at school. Their hard work isn’t what’s damaging people with less privilege; the bias of employers is, along with the lack of funding and collective will to give everyone, regardless of class background, a chance at a top quality education. That should be made available to everyone who wants it, along with more alternatives (really good vocational training, for example) for people who want something else.

          2. RebelwithMouseyHair*

            UKgreen is probably miffed that the effort involved in managing to get a place at such a school, and putting up with the other students there, doesn’t actually help them get a job after all. Which I understand totally. I went to an elitist school but haven’t ever reaped any of the benefits of the place, since I moved to France where nobody’s heard of it. I had to go to therapy to get over the trauma of feeling out of place among the elite, so it does rather bug me that I never got anything out of having to put up with the classist bigots who attended that school.
            Then again, I’m proud of having made my way into my chosen career despite the teachers telling me I’d never make it, and I did it all purely on the strength of my own hard work, which is probably much better for me.

    4. GammaGirl1908*

      I feel like this can be resolved with formatting! I have various pieces of data on the same line, separated by tabs. LW should delete irrelevant information, but then should make better use of the space available instead of deleting relevant information.

      1. LW4*

        LW4 here! I love formatting and I have done a similar way to what you describe. There isn’t anything irrelevant on my resume….I’m constantly working to cut things down and get reviews from mentors in my industry, and they’ve confirmed which experiences to showcase. Maybe I’m just hitting the point where I need a second page?

    5. JustaTech*

      I just checked my resume (because our HR asked us to upload our most current resume for regulatory purposes) and I don’t have a single location listed anywhere (except one university where it is part of the name of the school).

      I guess I should go back and add that? (I imagine I left it off because they’re all the same city at this point; I haven’t moved cities since college.)

    6. Purple Cat*

      I had to double-check my resume, and I don’t have locations for any of my experiences.
      I’ve only been applying locally, and all of my experience is local, so it hasn’t come up as an issue.
      I would right justify it across from the company name if I add it.

    7. LW4*

      Hey, LW4 here – thanks for the suggestion. I currently have company name and job title (left justified) and month/years of employment (right justified) on the same line. I absolutely cannot fit location on the same line. I’ve worked hard on the formatting but it’s too much text. So that’s why location gets its own line, underneath, and why it’s such a tempting thing to cut to save room.

      It looks like a number of commenters put company name (left) and location (right) on one line, then job title (left) and dates (right) on a second line. That’s the same amount of info and the same amount of lines, but seems like a nicer way of breaking it up. I might try that, though it doesn’t save any space.

  2. This is Artemesia*

    just want to emphasize Alison’s key point in #1. While you are killing yourself working long hours to cover your old job, you are jeopardizing the impression you make on your new one. New on the job is the time to put in extra time to master the new position. Being exhausted, having no time for anything extra — at precisely the time when you want to seem energetic and willing and competent may hurt your long term prospects on the new job. Let tomorrow be your last day and spend the weekend thinking about ways to direct that energy to the new position.

    1. coffee*

      Yeah. The saying “Don’t set yourself on fire trying to keep others warm” comes to mind.

      1. Venus*

        I often see and really like “You can’t care more about it than the person you’re trying to help”.

        OP says they are dissatisfied with various work conditions, and boss hasn’t fixed these. Maybe boss can’t hire anyone because of these problems. OP should never be expected to stay as a way to compensate for a crappy boss.

        1. WillowSunstar*

          Right, the boss needs to figure out how to keep and retain talent. Whether that means actually being nice to people, having better pay or benefits, it needs to be fixed. Otherwise, the company might not be able to stay in business. But that shouldn’t be blamed on OP, it is the fault of decision makers in the company.

          1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

            And I bet that for as long as OP stays on, the boss is not actually trying very hard to find someone. It’s not like OP has mentioned seeing anyone coming in for interviews or anything.

        2. Where’s the Orchestra?*

          I have said this a lot in the past on this site. Also applicable here I think is “not your circus, not your monkeys.” Boss, rather former boss needs to figure it all out on her own. Help her realize that by leaving TODAY. Concentrate on the new job, that way lies your future.

        3. Bankerchick*

          I put in nearly three weeks notice (I knew they would let me work my notice out) three months ago. They immediately posted the position internally and soon after, externally. I only worked my notice period, but for giggles I have randomly checked the postings. As of a couple days ago, the position is still posted.

          Even after they find someone, it takes weeks for background checks to clear, check references, set up training etc. And at least a month to train just to do basic elements of position . No way I would stay this long because they didn’t have anyone suitable for the position. No longer my problem.

    2. The Ghost of Madeleine Wool*

      Yes, and while the OP is running themselves ragged trying to help out Old Boss, I’m left wondering how much effort Old Boss has put into finding someone to replace them. Somewhere between nought and zero, apart from the energy taken to make up the occasional new excuse, I reckon.

      1. MK*

        Ir doesn’t actually matter if this is true or of the boss is spending every waking minute trying to find a replacement. The OP needs to leave nos. If she hasn’t found one so far, it will likely take too long.

        1. Lydia*

          It doesn’t change the advice, but it seems pretty obvious to me that the boss hasn’t been looking because she already has someone in the position.

          OP, it’s time to go.

        2. The Ghost of Madeleine Wool*

          Absolutely agreeing that this is an Old Boss problem, not an OP problem. This was just me being cynical that Old Boss won’t actually find someone until their hand is forced by OP leaving for good!

      2. That One Person*

        If nothing else OP finally moving on would be a bigger kick in the pants to not drag it out if they’ve been taking it more leisurely. They had an opportunity to try and get someone in and potentially trained under OP, but that time has long since passed. Even when they get someone new in it’s going to take that person time to get up to speed anyways. Either way OP even as someone who’s seen people come and go in jobs before: yes it sucks when you’re down a person (or more). Yes the increased work load sucks. Yes morale drops. The great thing is that’s no longer your problem or worry to deal with. Your coworkers can still be happy on your behalf while cursing their luck too – heavens knows I had this mindset before I too left that job. Whether or not your coworkers stay is also not your problem as that’s purely their decision to make. I doubt if they’re making that decision simply over you leaving as its likely something they’ve tossed around mentally more than they might admit to coworkers. If they do opt to leave I’d really suggest being gone before then or the boss is just going to try to heap more things onto your plate while simultaneously guilt tripping you into staying, which is really silly because it’s a job and not a family like some try to use against their employees.

      3. Just Your Everyday Crone*

        Or that the lousy working conditions are the reasons no one wants to work there.

    3. WoodswomanWrites*

      “Now it’s been six weeks since I was supposed to leave that job, with no end in sight.”

      The end is up to you! It’s your choice and it can and should be today. You don’t have to give your employer power over you when it’s genuinely yours. What you’re describing is exploitation. Remember why you quit in the first place, and take the energy your old job is sucking out of you and put it into being your best self in your new job.

    4. Not So NewReader*

      If they ask nicely that does not mean you have to stay, but it does mean that you can say NO nicely in reply.

      This is not approval of saying NO in an unprofessional manner. However, a lot of people think that if they are asked politely and/or begged then they should say yes. This is not true. People can tug at our heart strings for sure, it’s still okay to say no.

      Your cohorts left behind? Would you want them to keep working because you were still there? I do see where this bond can help some places to keep dysfunctional as they always have been. Cohorts don’t want to let each other down so they stay on and on. And what happens next is everyone gets more and more miserable. Time to cut the cord, OP.

      1. Insert Clever Name Here*

        Also, if they continue to not take “no” for an answer, you can also just…not go back. You’ve said you aren’t coming back, so match your actions to your words. I know this can be really hard to do, especially when you care about your coworkers, but you have to care about yourself too!

      2. JayNay*

        I know the pressure of „don’t leave your coworkers in a bind“ – but you are not the one making life hard for your coworkers. Your boss is making their job hard because she’s not ensuring adequate staffing.

    5. Lilo*

      Yes, the mistake here was ever entertaining this nonsense in the first place
      Leave today, LW. This is ridiculous.

      1. WillowSunstar*

        Right, what if OP had to physically move for the new job? What would the company do then? They need to seriously think about that.

      2. Elizabeth West*

        Completely. It’s your boss’s job to find a replacement. As long as you’re still there, she won’t do shit. She’s just taking advantage of you.

        Pack up your stuff and say bye.

    6. Beethoven, nooooo*

      OP needs to reframe this issue. Labor costs have gone up and the boss *doesn’t want to pay what it takes to hire additional staff.* If boss offered competitive pay they wouldn’t have people flaking and unfilled positions. Since they’ve got a sucker like OP willing to work for the old wage, they haven’t truly had to confront the cost of hiring good people right now. Does this sound like OP needs to stick around out of loyalty??

    7. Smithy*

      Absolutely this.

      Not exactly the same thing, but I was hired for a job because of my ability to perform the job in English and knowing I didn’t have professional skills in the local language. At the time I still wanted to improve my language skills but also felt like I had to. Personally, having language classes two nights a week after working a full day – my brain was soup. I learned very little in class, never wanted to do homework, and 100% took two courses of the same language level because I didn’t even bother with the final exam both times because I knew I had no chance of passing. The second time however, I realized I really just did not have the energy for the course and it was amazing how stopping made me feel better at work and in my personal life.

      1. Cedrus Libani*

        Early in my career, I made the mistake of taking on a significant volunteer commitment. I made a point of working the same hours as before, and never touched the other stuff on company time. I was shocked by how much my performance suffered. Turns out that I need “shower thoughts” time to strategize about work things, and also some mental down time. Since my brain was full of volunteer stuff, that wasn’t happening.

    8. Audrey*

      “Let tomorrow be your last day and spend the weekend thinking about ways to direct the energy to the new position”

      And OP, if you don’t read this until this weekend, let your boss know that yesterday was your last day. Don’t let her talk you into staying longer! ~~SAY NO~~

    9. DJ Abbott*

      Yes OP, don’t let anyone or anything jeopardize your future at your new job! Especially incompetent former employers.

    1. NotRealAnonForThis*

      Adding to the insight….

      I wonder how much the pandemic unveiled issues, in some cases. I know in my office it brought out a couple issues – lack of basic computer knowledge and proper saving of files by one person, as an (extreme in this case) example. It became blatantly apparent when we were all WFH that he could barely turn on a computer. In the office he’d get help from person X on this because “he was swamped” and help from person Y on that “because he was swamped”, when in reality, he needed the help because he didn’t know (or want to learn, which is key here) how to do basic tasks on the computer.

      1. Sola Lingua Bona Lingua Mortua Est*

        I think it’s also part of a larger trend of approaching Management roles more scientifically and as their own thing, where the farther back we go in the recent past, the more Management was a reward for years of work well done and it was just assumed that if you were a good widget-maker, you’d automatically, intuitively be a good widget-maker-supervisor.

      2. Apples*

        +1 if the LW is in a hybrid model. My thoughts are that the pandemic and hybrid working model has raised/changed the skill bar even for people who are technologically capable. In a world where you’re not physically surrounded by helpers all the time, you need increased skill with written communication, asynchronous communication, proactivity, and all-around competence. I’ve spent a lot of time recently frustrated with coworkers who come across rudely or over-casually over text, sit there stuck or working on the wrong thing for hours on end without checking in with anyone, need to be told the same thing over and over again, behave on zoom calls in a way they (hopefully) never would face-to-face, and generally seem confused and helpless to a level I’ve not seen before. In an office probably somebody would pick up on it and get them back on track. Remotely, they need to get THEMSELVES back on track, and it turns out a lot of people don’t know how or just find it easier not to.

      3. DANGER: Gumption Ahead*

        A friend’s work discovered a couple of folks who had been coasting on some tasks because the person assigned them would walk over to other folks and ask how to do something basic each month. Apparently they always needed a visual demo? Or just liked someone showing how to do it by doing it and never learning how to do it on their own. It was never the same person 2 months in a row so no one noticed because for each individual it only happened 1-2 times a year

      4. Where’s the Orchestra?*

        Do we work for the same place? Telework brought that exact problem out in two of my coworkers. One was brought around with the PIP management put them on, the other kicked and screamed all the way through failing their PIP (I know about both because I was pulled in as a person in the team they could go to with minor questions because I was the most senior non-manager on the team). PIP’s in my office are just short of the last step before firing……and have been around since long before the Pandemic.

      5. Meep*

        I know a lot of management positions were let go during the pandemic because it became apparent how completely useless and even a hindrance the management in question was. In my case, we had something similar where the VP of Business Development went off the deep end and could no longer hide her “crazy”. She upped her verbal abusive so I just stopped doing her job on top of my (engineering) job and when that became apparent she tried to deflect and act like I had performance issues. That obviously failed. The last time I checked, she wasn’t allowed to manage anyone ever again and is now on a PIP herself. Not before she falsely fired two trans individuals for being trans.

        I do feel for her because she literally could not handle the pandemic and the fear it brought. It is just unfortunate she was naturally callus and only cared about herself getting sick (I was told multiple times a day how if I got sick it wasn’t a big deal for her).

        tl;dr – I am sure a lot of it has to do with learning people are incompetent on their own with remote work. The statistics for managerial positions losing their job highlight that perfectly. It wouldn’t be surprising if we were now switching to employees once management was dealt with.

    2. Admiral Thrawn Is Always Blue*

      I’ve been thinking lately that there is a correction coming, just like for house values. People who have jobs that they can’t truly perform at full level, who were hired because they could do part or most of it, but mgmt needed a warm body in that chair so they were hired. The time is coming when they will be replaced by more capable employees, when employers get back to picking and choosing. I don’t think that is entirely fair, but if you take a job knowing you truly can’t do it or grow into it, that’s on you.

      1. Riot Grrrl*

        I think you’re right on the broad strokes of this. But I think it’s relatively rare that people “take a job knowing [they] truly can’t do it or grow into it.” Much more common is people taking a job with the best of intentions that it just turns out they are a bad fit for. That doesn’t mean they get to keep the job, but there’s no reason to assume the job seeker had bad faith motives.

        1. quill*

          Yeah, especially if the position includes things that management didn’t think to add in the job description, duties that changed hands since hiring, or was simply more work than is feasible to do while also coming up to speed on everything.

          1. beezus*

            This is kind of the situation I’m finding myself in. It was a newly created role to help shore up a dysfunctional back-end and it’s just a bad fit for everything that I’m uncovering and is ballooning out of control with added responsibilities.

            1. Churpairs*

              Just got out of one of those. Having the time of my life in my new job. Best of luck to you!

      2. WillowSunstar*

        Yeah, but in part this is on employers for hiring those people also. It’s not the employee’s fault if they are a bad match for the job, it’s whoever hired that person.

      3. My Useless 2 Cents*

        While there is some truth to this… I think a large portion of the blame needs to fall onto the companies. The companies are often the ones putting two completely different skill sets together in one job just because it is easier for them.

        Absurd example: The just want to hire one more person for the Track and Field team but they need an expert pole vaulter and an expert shot put thrower. So they advertise for a Track and Field athlete then scratch their heads why this excellent pole vaulter is having difficulty in the shot put.

        1. MigraineMonth*

          In IT, there are three common roles: “Front end developer”, “Back end developer” and “Database administrator”. I’ve noticed that something like 90% of job postings for “Front end developer” actually want a person who does all three roles.

          I’m sure the businesses are then puzzled why their “Front end developer” does such a terrible job at database administration.

        2. JustaTech*

          Oh my goodness why do people do this?
          My FIL hired a temp customer support person, and she’s been good at working with existing customers (that’s what she said she was good at, that’s the position she was hired for).
          But what my FIL really wants is another sales person. So he takes the CS person to a sales show where she does fine working the floor all day. But then in the evening she goes back up to her hotel room rather than coming down to the bar to schmooze with FIL (owner), New Owner, and Sales Guy – all of whom she was with all day. When FIL texted her to come down she said “I spent all day with them”.

          So now FIL is mad and going to fire the temp for not wanting to do/being good at doing/ doing in his preferred way a job that is pretty different from what she was hired to do. And he completely didn’t understand why we felt he was being unreasonable.

    3. Just Tired*

      In my case, I’ve been working with an individual for over 2 years on performance issues, they get better, they regress, they get better, they regress. I’ve finally gotten to the point that I can’t keep sweeping up after them, I need to get my own job done.

      1. Kay*

        This is where a few of my clients are finding themselves. They struggled to hire during the pandemic as they were so busy trying to somehow do their own jobs let alone find someone new – forget about time to train. With things slowing and some new hires now on board they are coming closer to a position of being able to address performance issues without the fear they will be in an even worse place if they lose staff over it. Most were cutting lots of slack during the pandemic but at some point people have to be held accountable for performance issues – seems like a lot of that is coming.

    4. Van Wilder*

      Also I think that people are increasingly burnt out after two years of this pandemic (I know I am.) I wouldn’t be surprised if people are just letting their performance slip somewhat.

      1. quill*

        I feel like a lot of jobs that were doable before just… aren’t, often for the same people who did them just OK before the pandemic. Supply chains, more people absent than usual, added stress all contribute to limit each person’s capacity.

        1. A*

          Yup! I manage global supply chains, and between Brexit + 301 tariffs followed shortly by the pandemic… it’s a whole different ball game now. I’ve kept my performance up, but burn out rate is increasing by the day.

      2. Sabine the Very Mean*

        For my first 34 years of life, I was full-on for my career. 2 years later and I often say, “the only things that matter in life are the things that really matter” and that sure AF isn’t my job.

    5. ferrina*

      Part of it is the Great Resignation x adjusting to remote.
      We have a ton of new people overall + new managers that were recently promoted from individual contributors + folks that were working hybrid for the first time. Now that we’ve gotten past day-to-day struggle of surviving the pandemic + restaffing from the Great Resignation, we’re able to focus on the performance issues. It’s new staff who weren’t well onboarded (since we had so much turnover during the Great Resignation) + managers who haven’t clearly communicated expectations (because they are new or because they didn’t realize that remote teams need more explicit communication- a lot of managers are whining that hybrid means junior staff aren’t’ learning professional norms by watching. well just tell them!).
      We’ve had a few PIPs that I can directly trace back to poor training + no communication of expectations. We’ve got a lot more cases that could end up that way in a few months, so we’re doing a company-wide reset of expectations for managers and staff.

    6. All Het Up About It*

      Something for me as a manager – I took on a new role mid-2020 and then things got CRAZY with staffing, on top of the crazy of the pandemic. I feel now that I’m finally on even footing after two years and I can actually pay better attention to my direct reports. None of them need PIPs thankfully – but I could see some of the coasting and allowances not even being purposeful for some managers, but just a by product of trying to keep their own head above water. This is probably more true for managers who also are responsible for their own projects and individual contributions.

    7. Startup Survivor*

      In tech there seems to be an uptick in PIPs to correct for some pandemic over hiring as well. But tech has also held onto some abusive performance management systems, like rank and yank, far longer than other industries.

    8. Butterfly Counter*

      This is definitely something I’ve been seeing as a higher ed teacher with my students. When the pandemic started, we definitely cut a lot of slack, both to ourselves and to our students. Standards slipped, we were a lot more lenient when it came to late papers and giving extra credit because so much was changing around us. But now that things are going back to normal, we’re seeing some students struggle with the more rigid rules. Some of it is because they started college during the pandemic and didn’t know there was another way things were done. Some of it is because they just got really used to the lower standards. Most students are transitioning back pretty well, but there are the few right now that are fighting it and finding their grades getting lower and lower. I normally have a “problem student” every 4 or 5 semesters, but I’ve been having a problem student every semester for the past 3 semesters. It’s exhausting.

      1. PersephoneUnderground*

        Hey, please don’t write off people as “problem students”. Most people want to do well, and there’s no way of knowing what’s going on in their lives.

        I have ADHD and spent years struggling with teachers who thought like that (high school mostly, college profs were better). Even with formal accommodations in place, it effects all kinds of things outside what those touch, many of which make a person look “lazy” or “disrespectful”. I’m not arriving late to class *at* you, this is me trying as hard as I can but still never being as consistent as a neurotypical person. Teachers who could look past my executive function struggles to the quality of my work made a huge difference to me. I am forever grateful to several of them for extending me grace I never expected.

        Regardless of the reason, it just seems entirely counter to the point of being an educator to write any student off as a “problem student”. Fundamental attribution error much?

        Maybe you’ve never thought about it, but please consider excising that entire concept from your brain. Students who are having problems or struggling are not “problems” themselves.

        Sorry if the above is a bit emotional, but I had to flag that phrase. It’s a label I spent years trying to shake and it causes real harm when educators think that way.

        Hopefully you personally don’t really believe in it or were joking/using it as shorthand, in which case hopefully my post will be educational to other readers in general about the experiences of those with ADHD in school and work. (Remote work for me has been so. very. hard. Though some others with ADHD prefer it.)

        1. Butterfly Counter*

          I am sorry that the phrase “problem student” upsets you. There are a lot of people out there who probably shouldn’t be teachers.

          However, please give me the benefit of the doubt that I do know what I am talking about in my own job. I have no problems giving accommodations for students. If a student lets me know that they’re having issues, especially issues that I have it in my power to help out with, trust me, I WANT them not only to do well in my classes, but to learn the material I’m trying to teach. I am not fazed by lateness to class, inattention, or even doing poorly. I have probably a good 6-10 students a semester with ADHD and/or who need other accommodations and the vast majority of them are complete delights to have in class.

          For me, problems students are the ones who make my life hell. Last semester, I had a student who BEGGED me for an override into my class (which increases my work, but usually these students actually tend do really well in my classes since they have something at stake for needing to be in it). This student, however, kept asking for special accommodations, and then still not fulfilling their end of the bargain. As an example, I have a major writing assignment due at the end of the semester (8-10 pages discussing research articles), but it is broken down into individual assignments all through the semester so that by the time the final paper is due, they’re almost guaranteed an A if they make all of the corrections from the individual assignments. This student did not turn in one of these writing assignments despite having multiple meetings with me on how to best complete these assignments. They had a lot going on, I get it, so I tell them that I will allow them to just do the final paper and that the grade they get on that will count for all of the assignments they missed. They do not turn in this paper either. They beg for a last chance, so I allow them an incomplete and to turn in the paper 4 weeks after the semester is over (at a point I am no longer being paid because when the semester ends, so does my paycheck). When this paper was now due, they turned in a 2 page paper with no research articles whatsoever that did not follow one direction from the multiple resources I gave throughout the semester. They failed the paper and submitted a complaint about me to my department chair as a result. I think it’s fair to call this student a problem student.

  3. Viki*


    We were told to note issues that were not automatic dismissals when the pandemic started and work on them at a higher level, with the instruction that when we returned to a version of normal, we would start addressing issues in more depth as the pandemic threw everyone in knots, and leadership wanted to give everyone grace to get people back to working norms.

    We’re now at the point, HR and our elt is ready to start to deal with issues that we could let slide durning the pandemic. Sometimes grace can be seen as rope and people had enough rope to hang themselves, and aren’t able/willingly to walk themselves back with “it wasn’t an issue 8 months ago, why is it now?”

    The answer was, it was always an issue and it was mentioned but we were dealing with more of a pandemic than we currently are**

    **per government guidelines etc

      1. Filosofickle*

        I take it to mean coaching the employee about the issue – not ignoring it but not going to PIP

        1. Viki*

          This basically. No one was getting fired unless they outright broke ethics/regulatory/code of conduct policies. But we were to coach through it to the best extent we could without PIP.

          No one wanted to be the person to fire someone due to performance issues during the pandemic; however now we’re at the living with it/fact of life state, we can address these issues.

          1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

            The health system I work for did a lot of the same for the behind the scenes folks (think billing, filing, records to and from other offices, etc). There was lots of coaching short of PIPs for a long time, but we went back to doing PIP’s in the second half of 2021.

          2. Evan Þ*

            Thank you for still coaching them about it.

            My first manager (pre-pandemic) totally ignored several bad behaviors of mine. Among other problems this caused, they’d become habits before my next manager (finally) talked to me about them, so it was much harder for me to actually fix them.

    1. Putting the "pro" in "procrastinate"*

      To LW#3, I just let someone go after putting them on a PIP which didn’t produce satisfactory improvement in their performance. And I can 100% say I cut this person a lot of slack because of the pandemic. The performance issues started before that, but they came to a head early in 2021, when a senior team member contacted me with some serious complaints. I told the person then that the performance issues were serious and stepped up my oversight of their work. But it was another year before I started the machinery of the PIP. If not for the pandemic, I definitely would have started the PIP sooner, but the working conditions during the time the senior person was complaining about were really challenging and I know this worker had difficulties because of it. (Even in light of the pandemic I feel, with hindsight, that I waited too long. It was my first time putting someone on a PIP and I’ve learned a lot from the experience.)

      I don’t have any sense that this is a trend even across my own company, let alone the world at large, but I’d not be surprised if a lot of managers went through the same calculus that I did. It was a time to be extra compassionate and patient with people.

  4. nnn*

    The weird thing in #2 is it isn’t the employee’s job to come up with other things to take on, it’s management’s job to tell the employee what things to take on and how to prioritize them

      1. Frenchie, Too*

        OP #3, check this site for info on updating your resume, writing cover letters, and the rest of the process. Then go find a workplace that values your contributions. Negotiate a higher salary, for sure, and whatever other benefits you value.

        When you give notice, make it clear that you are leaving for more money, because you are getting a pay cut every time the cost of living goes up.

        Don’t be shy about letting your coworkers know you got a better paying job (assuming doing so won’t be detrimental to you).

    1. Cat Tree*

      Sort of. In a more functional workplace it’s more of a two-way street. Employees share their career interests or goals with the boss, and the boss tries to find side projects that fit the employee’s interests and also benefit the company. Or if the employee already knows about things going on, they can ask their boss about helping on that project and the boss facilitates. Of course there are also times when work just gets assigned because it needs to be done. But companies have better retention when employees have some control over their career trajectory.

      1. Koalafied*

        Yes, my organization has a good amount of 5+ and 10+ year tenured employees (even 20+) and a healthy proportion of them are in jobs they essentially created for themselves by seeing an unmet need or opportunity that looked interesting and proposing to their boss that they take it on.

    2. RebelwithMouseyHair*

      I’d want to say “give me X and Y responsibilities, and let me delegate A B and C” because I’m not taking more on without handing some stuff off.

  5. NAD*


    It’s not your employer’s decision when you leave a job. You leave when you say you are leaving. Your employer is now taking serious advantage of you. Pack your desk up and walk out. You own them nothing.

    1. Heffalump*

      This may be personal, and you don’t have to respond if you don’t want to. But I wonder what your upbringing was like to give you this misplaced sense of duty to OldJob.

      If they fired you or laid you off, they wouldn’t let you stay longer because you begged them to.

      1. BethDH*

        My sense is that it’s duty to the coworkers more than the boss. Part-time jobs vary, but the ones I had involved very close work with coworkers in a way that just hasn’t happened in my salaried full-time roles. It can be hard to leave when you know that if you stop covering x shift, your coworker will have to do it alone or will have to get weekend childcare or something.
        OP shouldn’t stay any longer still. That moment is going to come no matter what since boss obviously isn’t hiring someone until they’re forced to.

        1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

          yes, its not wanting to make life difficult for those left behind. In toxic places, the ties can be very strong, and only people with a lot of empathy will put up with toxic treatment, which creates a self-perpetuating cycle.

          Whenever I see on LinkedIn that a former colleague is now working somewhere else, I make sure to congratulate them, and we have formed a kind of “those who got out” club where we help each other out as much as we can, which is a nice way of honouring those ties.

      2. Venus*

        I have an upbringing that has little sense of duty and yet I have found myself in a situation where I was hurting myself to help a small business and my coworkers there. OP likely cares a lot more about their coworkers than anything else.

        1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

          From my reading of OP1’s letter, it was also my sense that they were afraid of letting their teammates down as well. But OP, at this point you’re just hurting yourself and making it easier for the boss to not step up and actually fix their problem.

      3. Important Moi*

        OP is not obligated to set themselves on fire to keep their co-w0rkers warm any more that they are obligated to keep their boss warm.

        Is the idea that OP could be doing this for their co-workers somehow “better”? I don’t understand.

        1. Irish Teacher*

          I don’t think anybody is saying they are obliged to do this or that they shouldn’t leave, just that the cause may not be related to their upbringing but rather to their loyalty to their colleagues. It doesn’t really change the advice, except that an evaluation of their upbringing may not be necessary.

          1. Sparkles McFadden*

            Yes, the why of it all doesn’t change the solution to the problem. The solution is “Leave now.”

            Perhaps if the LW said something such as “I am trying to figure out why I keep repeating this pattern at all of my jobs…” speculation as to why would be relevant.

        2. Filosofickle*

          To me it is a little “better” (meaning understandable) if it’s for coworkers. The OP should definitely walk either way, it doesn’t make it good or right! They are under no obligation regardless of motivation. But my thinking is that doing this out of misguided loyalty to a business that isn’t mine and a boss that doesn’t respect me is an unhealthier motivation than trying not to leave my friends in the lurch. In the end, you still have to take care of yourself but I’d get the latter more.

    2. GammaGirl1908*

      I feel like Alison and others will and have covered this sufficiently, but I just want to add my voice to the chorus.

      They don’t own you. They aren’t forcing you to stay there. It doesn’t matter if they are a little bit inconvenienced. Even if you feel a little bit guilty, it doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong.

      You can say you are leaving, supply **absolutely no** justifications, tell them goodbye, depart, and never go back. Absolutely nothing bad will happen to you. You never need to answer their phone calls again.

      (Side note: I am a big figure skating fan, and my treadmill show for the past couple of weeks has been Spinning Out. There’s a whole storyline about feeling like you owe something to a messy and dysfunctional situation you have managed to escape. No, you don’t.)

      1. EPLawyer*

        Let me add on to this — a resignation letter is not like a vacation request. It is a formal statement of your intent to leave on a date certain. The boss just can’t refuse to accept it.

        The usual notice is 2 weeks. That is not enough time to find and hire a replacement unless you are pretty much grabbing someone off the street. So the idea you have to wait until there is a replacement is absurd.

        Your coworkers are thinking of quitting also. Do you think THEY will stick around like you have, just to make it easier for you when they leave? I’m sure they are nice people, but they aren’t going to going to exhaust themselves to keep things from being difficult for you. Besides if they do quit, the boss will have even more excuses why you have to stay on.

        You simply tell your boss, I have extended my time here beyond what I stated when I resigned. Today is my last day. The fact that the boss had done jack-all to find a replacement is NOT YOUR PROBLEM.

        1. The Original K.*

          I worked with someone who had been in a similar situation at a previous job because “[her] boss wouldn’t let [her] quit” and I said “‘Let?’ That’s not how it works. She doesn’t get a vote. Next time leave when you say you will. They’ll figure it out. Or not, but either way it’s not your problem.” A boss can “not accept” a resignation all she wants but that doesn’t actually mean anything.

          1. Cthulhu's Librarian*

            To be clear, it can mean something, when you’re actually under a term based contract that says it can only be severed with both parties consent. These sorts of contracts are almost unheard of in American employment practices outside of the military – sometimes they do show up for positions where a person is going to become unpopular simply by virtue of doing the job responsibilities (I lived in a town which went into receivership, and the town manager brought in to fix the financial situation had a 5-year contract like that) – and I get the impression that they’re not particularly common elsewhere in the world either.

            But in at will employment (which is the prevailing business practice here in the US), “No, I need you to stay” is basically as useful as Canute commanding the tide not to come in. And it is when you turn around and say “My rate for staying on is $Obscene Amounts” because now the power dynamic has shifted.

            1. Random Bystander*

              And even if there were a contract, it would have a term date, not a “terminates when replacement is found” date. And of course, given that the LW is working a part time job, odds of a contract are pretty near zero.

            2. PollyQ*

              Even with employment contracts, they can rarely compel you to keep coming in to work. There may be financial penalities if you choose to quit, but no one is going to physically drag you into the office. (Military service being a major exception, of course.)

              1. Other Alice*

                I work in a country with employment contracts. Some of them have a set end date (usually a year) and some do not. Even contracts with no end date always allow employees to quit after serving the notice period defined in their contract, and with no notice if they are leaving due to e.g. harassment or unsafe work environment. The employer has no say in it, you submit your resignation online to the dept of labour and select your last day, and that’s it.

                1. NoMoreFirstTimeCommenter*

                  Pretty similar in another contract country. Sometimes in a fixed-term contract there is no possibility to resign after the trial period*, but this is pretty much the only exception. As a long time AAM reader I think things are pretty similar whether or not there is something called “contract”, because in order to actually do any work you need to agree / find out about all the same things anyway. Like: pay, work times, start date, etc.

                  *Trial period = a time period in the beginning of a new job, where it’s legal to both fire without warnings and quit without notice, just because you feel it’s a poor fit.

        2. Observer*

          The boss just can’t refuse to accept it.

          Oh, the boss “can” refuse to accept it. But that doesn’t mean anything. The Boss can try to convince you to stay in any way they want, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay any attention.

          Because THIS: a resignation letter is not like a vacation request. It is a formal statement of your intent to leave on a date certain.

          This is a statement of your intentions, and your boss has ZERO say about it.

        3. kiki*

          Yes, I feel like a fair amount of letters and posts come through Ask a Manager where a boss won’t “let somebody quit.” Outside of very specific circumstances (military, etc.) you can always just quit. If your boss doesn’t accept it, you still don’t have to show up past your intended last day. As long as you return all your equipment, you boss doesn’t have any hold on you any more. You are free!

        4. ferrina*

          It can actually be better for your coworkers that you leave. You show them that there’s a way out and better things await them. So many people drag their feet on a job search because ‘the job isn’t that bad’. Then that favorite coworker quits and the one good part is taken away, and you realize that yes, it is that bad.

          After I left OldJob, my old department had 90% turnover in one year (formerly it had been 10-15%). I had been shielding my coworkers from the politics and drama and chronic understaffing and underresourcing (I could do a lot with a little). When I left, all of that came crashing down and everyone else noped out. I’m really proud of them- they deserved so much better.

          1. Where’s the Orchestra?*

            “You show them that there’s a way out and better things await them. So many people drag their feet on a job search because ‘the job isn’t that bad’. Then that favorite coworker quits and the one good part is taken away, and you realize that yes, it is that bad.”

            I can’t agree hard enough with Ferrina’s point. In getting out you may help others that you feel you can’t let down get themselves out.

        5. pancakes*

          “Do you think THEY will stick around like you have, just to make it easier for you when they leave?”

          They might stick around on account of feeling guilty about other coworkers remaining, but they really shouldn’t. No one should stay in a miserable job solely on account of feeling guilty about leaving it.

      2. Observer*

        It doesn’t matter if they are a little bit inconvenienced.

        What’s more – it doesn’t even matter if they are a LOT inconvenienced.

    3. All Het Up About It*

      Hard agree.

      Also – my cynical sense is tingling. I don’t think the Boss has lined up any replacements. They are taking advantage of LW1 and the good feelings this person has toward their co-workers.

      1. The OTHER Other.*

        That’s a good bet. It’s not easy to hire skilled people in a lot of industries right now, but if the boss is able to keep stringing LW along (is LW working two full time jobs?!) then why should she put much effort into hiring anyone?

        And as Alison has pointed out many times, notice periods aren’t intended to cover a job until a replacement is found, it’s to finish up or hand off any outstanding projects and document whatever processes you have.

    4. ABCYaBye*

      As Dan Savage says (and I paraphrase), when you break up with someone, you don’t need their approval. When you quit your non-contract job, you don’t need their approval.

    5. TiredAmoeba*

      What is the company’s incentive to search for a new employee when OP has demonstrated they are willing to stick around indefinitely?

  6. Beth*

    #2: Has anyone tried preempting them by saying, “I am asking for a cost of living adjustment to my salary”?

    In all seriousness, justifying a raise in the way you’re describing is for if you’re asking for a merit raise, not for a COL adjustment, which should be happening regularly regardless of your job duties. If your employer genuinely thinks wages should stay stagnant over time, then this is going to be an ongoing problem. Even if you convince them to give you a raise now, you’re going to have this problem again in a year or two. You should think seriously about finding a different job–even if you’re making the same as in your current one, you’ll be better off next year (and the year after, and the year after that, and so on) if you’re at an employer that understands COL adjustments.

    1. andie*

      If they do COL adjustment for one person they’re going to be under intense pressure to do it for everyone, OP may have more luck arguing for merit raise.

      1. Cat Tree*

        Honestly I hate working for places like this because their reasoning is so short-sighted. They can either pay COL raises the easy way, or they can do ot the hard way when people quit and they have to hire replacements at market rate. Of course some people will stick around at the lower rate, but the costs of hiring, onboarding, and training some replacements almost certainly outweighs that. These managers fundamentally misunderstand how labor works and that doesn’t inspire confidence in their other business skills.

        1. IM LW2*

          There were a few openings during the pandemic years and the salary expectations of the new hires carried sticker shock, I think.

        2. The OTHER Other.*

          It’s aggravating on SO a many levels, it’s like they think their little bubble is exempt from the forces acting on the overall economy. Is this boss demanding to get more kilowatts of energy or better quality water from his utility companies? When gas prices rose did he ask whether the gas has more octane in it to “justify” the higher price? Are jugs of milk getting larger?

          No, prices are increasing. If you don’t do COLA adjustments, you are paying your employees a bit less each year. In times like these with higher inflation, it’s much more noticeable, but over time it’s definitely significant even at low rates. At normal inflation rates (3.5%), someone’s income needs to DOUBLE over 20 years just to stay even.

          Sounds as though this employer wants cheap employees. He deserves the high turnover and low quality that entails.

          1. Curmudgeon in California*

            One job I had only did “merit” increases. Usually everyone got the same thing, and it didn’t even match local inflation. Yet people stayed there for decades because of the other benefits and retirement packages. But yeah, tiny “merit” increases and no COLA means that you lose ground each you. Plus it was a non-profit so they lowballed to start with.

            1. The OTHER Other*

              I’ve been there, an old company basically did the same, “merit” increases really weren’t, and in order to get significant increases you either needed to get promoted or wait for a company wide “market adjustment” every 7-10 years or so.

        3. JustaTech*

          We just had a seminar at work where the presenter said that, at least for highly skilled/experienced employee, the cost of replacing an employee was something like 4.5X their salary. (Less for entry level, but even there it’s like 1.5X.)

          Even if that’s a one-time cost (unlike a COL raise), it’s probably still more than a COL raise, at least in the short term.

          1. IM LW2*

            Whoa! And thanks for this. I was wondering today… if I had to be replaced, how much would it cost? It was an interesting way to look at the problem.

    2. IM LW2*

      I actually had decided to tackle a cost of living increase request first and see what happens. I believe such increases are supposed to be assessed “routinely” but that period has come and gone without comment. Or increase.

      1. Beth*

        To be honest, the question was a little tongue in cheek–I think odds are your employer is stingy and looking for excuses to underpay everyone. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask–you should. But don’t be surprised if you get no traction with them. I expect they’ll do their best to ignore or dismiss a COL conversation–or, if you force their hand, that they’ll ‘offer a COL increase’ that’s seriously lower than the actual COL change since your last pay adjustment. Teaming up with colleagues and asking as a group might get you a little more bargaining power, so try that if you’re getting pushback.

        In the long run, though, the only way to get around a stingy employer is to switch employers. You don’t want this to be a fight every year, and you don’t want to be left wondering how much you would be making if you worked for a decent boss.

        1. IM LW2*

          Based on experience with my group, I would hesitate to rely on them to back up any such discussion.

      2. GythaOgden*

        Don’t forget the whole world is struggling with this. It’s probably not just your employer being a grinch; it’s that inflation is so bad because it squeezes businesses and workers. You can’t pay out what you don’t take in. And most of us are in the same situation; our public sector pay rise was skewed so that the less well off workers got proportionately more, but obviously that left the higher-ups cheesed off.

        In bad economic situations, raises can’t come out of thin air, otherwise they’d just add to inflation. (Like a government printing money contributes to prices simply rising.) Everyone is suffering from poor decisions being taken half a world away, like a massive, prolonged fight between a major food exporter and a major oil and gas exporter.

        Really? Your employer isn’t the one at fault here. Being cognisant of economic realities is important to keeping everyone employed. Put it this way — you do /not/ want your raise to come at the cost of someone else’s entire wage.

        And therein lies the whole reason why inflation like the inflation now is baaaaaad news.

        1. Observer*

          Put it this way — you do /not/ want your raise to come at the cost of someone else’s entire wage.

          Hello, boss.

          Please stop trying to guilt people into not asking for fair compensation.

          1. Student*

            Sure I do – that’s not MY problem. That’s the employer’s problem and the problem of whomever got laid off. It’s not my call and not my responsibility.

            This is like a hostage fallacy in a movie, where the bad guy points the gun at some old lady and tells the clerk to give him money or else it’ll be the clerk’s fault the old lady got shot. Just because the person with the gun is verbally blaming you for his actions, does not mean you are actually responsible for his actions or at blame for his poor decisions. The clerk’s not the one with the gun, and the bad guy may shoot the little old lady no matter what the clerk does.

            1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

              thank you, you put it very well there!
              it seems like management have so many cards up their sleeve to make it look like a pay rise is not possible. You have to credit them for imagination!

          2. Frenchie, Too*

            I second your reply. If this, or any business, can’t afford to pay fair wages, they don’t have a feasible business plan. Enough with the guilt trips! Many businesses are making higher profits by not hiring needed staff. The remaining staff have to sacrifice their life/ work balance and mental health to support the business.

            Nope. Just find an employer with a better business model, who can afford to pay you your worth.

            1. DJ Abbott*

              This makes me think of the retail wage war going on here. I live in a major metro area where the minimum wage is substantially higher than the federal minimum.
              Retail stores are fighting for workers and when I was at the grocery store some of my colleagues left for a store that paid $1 more than the minimum. The store where I shop has had a sign out for a while saying they pay 50 cents more than the minimum. They recently raise that to $1 more. These stores also offer an employee discount as an incentive.
              They understand why people are coming to work and what it takes to get them there. Unlike the store I worked at, which had a policy of no raises even for senior associates. No one feels guilty about leaving that store!

        2. Nobby Nobbs*

          “ like a massive, prolonged fight between a major food exporter and a major oil and gas exporter” Well that’s a level of bothsidesism beyond what I’ve seen in a while. Pretty impressive, really.

          1. Lydia*

            Nanny Ogg and Nobby Nobs disagreeing with each other in a comments section. Will wonders never cease?

            Yeah, this is a gross way to pit employees against each other. It’s the kind of garbage an employer will try to get someone to back off. Don’t fall for it.

        3. Esmae*

          If that’s the case, the employer needs to be transparent and say that the budget doesn’t allow for raises. And it needs to be true across the board, for all employees.

          1. DJ Abbott*

            And the employees will still leave because they know they deserve a raise and they will get it at another employer.

            1. RebelwithMouseyHair*

              And then the old employer will have to hire someone at the higher going rate, probably a higher rate than what they could have negotiated with old employee, and they’ll either go bust or put the price of their products up or GIVE LESS TO THE SHAREHOLDERS, who will not suffer any major hardship as a result and if they do, they shouldn’t be a shareholder.

        4. PollyQ*

          Many, many companies have seen record profits in 2022, based on that same inflation. And salary is not a favor that employers do for their employees. It is a cost of doing business, just like rent, power, raw materials. You’d never say to a wholesaler, “Well, I’d like to pay what you’re charging, but it would have to come out of someone else’s salary, so no.” And “someone else’s entire wage”? LW would have to already be making a very large salary for a 5% increase to equal someone’s full-time salary.

        5. I should really pick a name*

          The employer isn’t even acknowledging the the LW deserves a raise.
          They are at fault.

        6. Lenora Rose*

          Wow, just wow. The employer IS being a stingy grinch and all the excuses for why don’t change the cost of living, and the employer IS at fault. An employee is allowed to refuse to let their wage degrade to be nice to their peers, and especially not to the company’s bottom line and shareholders, which is who really “suffers” if wages go up while profits do not.

          And it’s not a “fight”, it was an invasion BY one TO the other. It was a poor decision by the INVADER, not the invaded.

          Inflation is bad but there are a suspicious number of places reporting “Record profits” simultaneously. Some (ALL) of them should be letting that profit reduce in favour of their employees benefitting, and I don’t mean the C suite.

        7. The OTHER Other.*

          “ In bad economic situations, raises can’t come out of thin air”

          Way to excuse awful employer behavior. This employer has refused to provide COLA a of any kind as a matter of policy, not an emergency measure. The LW says they have not had raises in years, this during an economic boom. Outside of a few industries (travel and hospitality, most notably) business earnings have not plummeted in the pandemic, many businesses are doing quite well.

          Asking workers to accept stagnant wages in order to placate big bad inflation is absurd. How come inflation is never mentioned when it comes to CEO bonuses, or tax cuts for the wealthy, or corporate dividends?

        8. SJ (they/them)*

          “Your employer isn’t the one at fault here. Being cognisant of economic realities is important to keeping everyone employed. Put it this way — you do /not/ want your raise to come at the cost of someone else’s entire wage.”

          Good news, this take can be salvaged! Just delete sentence 1 and sentence 3, aim sentence 2 at the EMPLOYER and not the worker, and you’re good. :)

        9. JustaTech*

          Except that LW2 says that they haven’t gotten a raise of any kind in 3 years, and there were record profits (in some sectors) in 2021 as well as 2022. So while their employer can try to blame inflation, they were being cheap with raises before that. Which shows a pattern of not wanting to pay.

        10. Beth*

          Yeah, no.

          Prices have risen across the board, but that also includes the prices of the things most of our employers produce. Their higher costs are balanced by higher revenue. Or more than balanced–plenty of businesses are posting record profits this year. It’s simply not true that inflation means companies can’t pay for labor appropriately.

          And if a specific business truly can’t afford the labor they rely on at current prices? Frankly, they should go under. That business has failed. You can’t prop up a failing business on “our suppliers should absorb losses indefinitely so we can pretend we’re not in the red.”

        11. Foila*

          “Put it this way — you do /not/ want your raise to come at the cost of someone else’s entire wage.”

          You know, on reflection I actually would want that, at least in a general sense. I would rather the standard be that an employer has to pay their employees fairly. If that means they have to employ fewer people, well, that’s a calculation they’re already doing, right? I mean, they can only afford so many people, and competitive compensation vs more people leaving is a spectrum businesses are always trying to balance. If people are going elsewhere, that means another employer paying more is playing that game better.

      1. Lydia*

        Local government and our union fought really hard for a higher COL increase, but the city would. Not. Budge. We’re still getting one, but nowhere near the actual rate of inflation.

    3. MCMonkeyBean*

      IMO a merit raise is more for past performance (with an expectation that you would keep that performance going forward). Justifying a raise with *future* responsibilities sounds more like a promotion to me, honestly.

  7. CurrentlyBill*

    LW2: Ok, this may not be the best suggestion, but I’d be tempted to say, “I’m already doing more work, more quickly, and at higher quality than I was when you hired me at the current rate. Instead of taking on new responsibilities now, I’d like to have my compensation adjusted to reflect the work and value I provide today. Alternatively, I can return to producing the volume and quality of work I produced the first month you hired me. Which would you prefer?”

    1. Aurelia*

      Everything up until the last sentence aligns with what Alison mentioned above, and I think it’s actually a pretty good conversation. This is the kind of rhetoric I’d expect from an old-school, self-made, never had to worry about job security kind of employer. The association of tasks to pay without acknowledging that value can be reflected in more than just “number of duties in my job description” makes me imagine someone who isn’t very good at managing, and I kind of get the impression that this is reflected in more than just their attitude towards raises.

      1. Not So NewReader*

        There is also a huge disconnect about hours. Just as you can’t put 5 pounds of stuff into a 4 pound bag, you also cannot put 50-60 hours of work into a 40 hour week.

        I’ve trained a lot of people. I have watched them seriously build up their speed. Some of the folks were super hard workers and their productivity soared. But there is always that plateau. There is some point where outputs level off and going higher is just not possible, even if I streamlined tasks, there was no moving beyond that plateau level. Again, these folks were seriously hard workers. I used to work beside some of them and try to top them, I could not.

        As I went along I realized that there was a range of what an average, fully trained, good worker could do. The better performers all fell within that range. This meant that we were working at optimal levels and not much more could be expected.

        If this boss digs their heels in, I’d be tempted to say that people are running at maximum load levels now. It’s not reasonable to expect people to take on more to get a raise. Raises can be used to help retain employees, help with increased COL and so on. I realize that you can’t say that people won’t stay because of no raises ever, but that is where this is going OP. The boss has an excuse to not ever give raises again.

        1. IM LW2*

          Well. That’s depressing. Lol! I know raises have been given in the past. Just know I can’t afford to stay at my current pay with no hope of any increase. That’s why I’m trying to pull my big girl panties on and have the conversation.

          1. EPLawyer*

            If you can’t afford to stay with no hope of an increase, that gives you the information you need right now. You know your bosses claim to only give raises if you take on more work. Which is incredibly stupid. As noted, there are only so many hours in the day. Your bosses are stingy and don’t want to raise pay so they find excuses not to. This is NOT going to change no matter what panties you are wearing.

            Time to polish up the resume and find out your worth on the open market.

          2. Observer*

            Have the conversation, but also start looking elsewhere.

            Even in a bad job market, it’s often possible to make a move. In this market? You have a really good shot at finding something better.

          3. TiredAmoeba*

            100% when you hand in your resignation your bosses will be shocked Pikachu face and say some combination of you “letting down your work family”, “people only seem to be motivated by money anymore” and ” no one wants to work”.

          4. RebelwithMouseyHair*

            Can you not say you can take on X and Y provided you can delegate A and B to someone else, like a new hire?

    2. fhqwhgads*

      Your suggestion is essentially “do what Alison suggested, but be snarky about it”.

      1. The OTHER Other.*

        The boss deserves some snark, IMO, but if LW really needs the job then maybe stick with Alison’s script.

  8. Other Alice*

    LW1: Your boss will not find a replacement while you’re still there. I doubt she’s even looking! A couple of jobs back, I “temporarily” picked up the job duties of a former coworker while my boss looked for a replacement. After a couple of interviews that “didn’t pan out”, the job posting fell quietly into oblivion and I did the work of two people until I burned out and quit a year later. Please don’t try to solve their short staffing by overworking yourself. I’m really hoping for an update saying that today was your last day.

    1. LifeBeforeCorona*

      Hey, that’s me. I’ve been doing the equivalent of 2 jobs since the spring while management looks for more staff. I’ve had 2 days off in a row one time since then and never had a full weekend all summer. By chance I saw that their help wanted ad had expired. Canada has an official holiday, Labour Day in early September. That is going to be my personal no more free labour day.

    2. Chilipepper Attitude*

      Also, Alison often points out that the notice period is NOT for finding your replacement, it is for shifting your work to others so nothing big falls through the cracks.

      Make today your last day!!

      1. Nowwhat465*

        THIS! The only place I’ve ever worked that been able to hire a replacement while the person in the position was in their notice period was a restaurant. And that was only because the staff was well connected and were able to bring in competent friends/family members who could do the job.

        In my retail experience and professional experience, I have never seen someone get hired, onboarded, and trained during the notice period. The notice period has always been closing out projects that could be closed, cross training colleagues on stuff that needed coverage, and documenting processes for your replacement. If everyone waited to leave until they had a competent replacement trained, no one would ever leave!

        You’ve done enough, LW #1. It’s time to walk away.

      2. gmg22*

        I needed to hear this today. I’m in a similar situation except that I don’t have a new job — I’m looking already but freely admit I’m slow-walking that process because what I really desperately want is a month or two of time off. I guilted myself into giving three MONTHS’ notice because I knew it would take that long to find a replacement (which it has — we probably won’t have anyone on board to start doing my job until early October, and the candidates we’re looking at all have the comms skills they need but will have to get up to speed on our subject matter), and there simply isn’t anyone else, at my small org, who regularly does about half the things I do at my job. So just my decision to leave at all will, a short time from now, start making life harder for my colleagues, and I hate that. I remember vividly and unpleasantly what it was like to start this job, which was a move from an entry-level role I had at my org, and have to essentially do two jobs for about four months because that’s how long a new hire took. My new manager was NOT patient about it, and it was awful. I’m thankful that that manager isn’t here anymore and our current one will be much more supportive — but it’s still giving me a bit of PTSD. I am very fond of my colleagues and I believe in our mission, but something very worrisome about the work culture of my org is making this process feel like extricating myself from a hostage situation.

    3. Random Bystander*

      Exactly–and given letter writer mentioning that two co-workers are also thinking about quitting, actually not having the people in the position may make the boss (owner) think seriously about what needs to be changed in the job offering in order to get and retain employees. But as long as it isn’t a problem because for so long as the OldBoss can bully people into staying past the intended quit date, that re-evaluation may never take place.

      1. EPLawyer*

        Boss isn’t going to change anything. If they will guilt someone into staying past their resignation date, they are not a good manager. They will not suddenly become one just because everyone quit. They will just say “no one wants to work anymore.” Then say it again when no one will work the hours they want at the pay they are offering.

      2. Person from the Resume*

        Plus the LW says they’re already “desperately under-staffed” so the boss should have been trying to hire at least one person before the LW quit.

        She wasn’t. She’s barely looking to hire the LW’s replacement now.

    4. Antilles*

      That’s my thought too.
      I’m guessing that once you’re gone, it’ll be almost magical how she quickly things turn from “six weeks and everybody flakes out, no idea when we’ll get someone” into actually having your replacement.

  9. Cohen*

    On Point 2; definitely start looking for a new job elsewhere. With the current cost of living climate + inflation; it means that you are actually taking a pay decrease despite an increase in workload, responsibility etc..

    It is very sad that this has now become the norm; whereby most companies, even those in industries that are booming; are not willing to budge on any form of pay increases no matter your skill, number of years worked etc.

    1. Seeking Second Childhood*

      OP2, it’s time to give yourself a promotion at another company.
      Come to think of it, I have same advice for OP1 as well!

  10. GythaOgden*

    Totally agree with the response to LW1. Don’t give people a chance to spin out the process. The best advice I received when thinking of leaving a voluntary online position and trying not just to leave people in the lurch was to tell them ‘I’m resigning on X date, so you have until then to find someone to take over’. In many cases in employment, your company can get a temp to cover the interim period between your departure and a newcomer, or even as a temp-to-perm position like I got where they needed someone immediately and expected the position to last longer and to be filled seamlessly. I came on as a month’s stopgap and am still there eight years and change later.

    Indefinite notice is bad for a lot of reasons, and this would work better for everyone if you just walked and left them having to find someone else.

  11. bamcheeks*

    managers didn’t address performance problems as forthrightly as they might have previously, because they were inclined to cut people a lot of slack

    I’ll also add to this that managers were living through a pandemic and a childcare crisis with all the stresses that entailed too! So in some cases it’s probably not “managers cut people slack bc pandemic” but also “managers simply Could Not during the pandemic”.

    1. Riot Grrrl*

      Thank you for pointing this out. And at least in my case, going through the pandemic while doing the jobs of 3 other people who simply fell apart for almost 2 years.

    2. OrdinaryJoe*

      Excellent point! Coordinating letting someone go with various departments, searching for a new person, training, etc. is a huge time and energy suck. If the person isn’t *that* bad/dangerous/doing something illegal or you can manage around their issues, I can see a lot of managers not having the energy to deal with it until the last 6 months or so.

  12. D-the-comms-guy*

    Letter 3: this isn’t just a recent thing, I’ve been seeing it for years. Most commonly, these employees use their emotions as a way of avoid the discussion about performance. They don’t want to discuss the feedback, they want to discuss how it was delivered, and until their hurt has been assuaged, they won’t acknowledge glaring issues in what they do.

    But you can never deliver it in a way that doesn’t upset them, because they are convinced they’re doing a great job.

    I had one person in a former team who was actually incompetent at his role. Given his age and claimed experience, he was unable to adequately deliver work that I would expect from someone earlier into a career in my field. His writing was riddled with typos and poor English (he never disclosed dyslexia or similar), he frequently failed to deliver on schedule or to standard, and any time he was picked up on it, he had a tantrum and the over boss backed off.

    Sorry, this is a rant now. Haha.

    But yes, there is definitely an issue that people won’t acknowledge PIPs, because they don’t fit their internal narrative. And it’s definitely become more pronounced.

    1. TiredAmoeba*

      I know a couple people like this. One specific person has absolutely terrible spelling and grammar despite two Master’s degrees. Years ago, I asked them if they planned to address those issues as they would hold them back professionally. They insisted that no one cares about spelling and grammar anymore and anyone who did was an out of touch fuddy duddy. They are on their 5th or 6th attempt to reset their career because it turns out, companies do care when you can’t send a basic email to a customer that doesn’t require review and correction. Of course, the issue is big corporate trying to hold them back, not constant mistakes that even spell check can’t figure out.

  13. Asenath*

    LW 1 – What Alison said, but I’d add that when you tell your employer that this is your last day, be prepared for her to not accept what you say, and to simply stick to your guns, not discuss the issue, nothing – even have any personal items on your desk packed up or already brought home, and any keys or other office property ready to hand back. I suspect this is the kind of employer who will try to persuade you to stay – after all, it worked once, and it sounds like she hasn’t been searching too hard for a replacement since she’s found no one, not even a temp. Be prepared for a request for another two weeks “in lieu of” the notice you already gave, even another week, another day, and do NOT get engaged in any discussion about why you can’t do it or how tough things are for her (or your co-workers) etc etc etc. That’s just an attempt to wear you down. “This is my last day.” That’s it.

    1. DisneyChannelThis*

      It’s kinda like dealing with a stalker. You’ve taught them that doing this will keep you, so they’re going to keep trying. And if you give in at all, they’ll just take that as 52 times asking gets a “yes” so always ask 52 times. Walk away and hold your ground! Block them from your phone for at least a week. Set up an e-mail filter that goes to a folder so you don’t have to see it.

      “Boss today is my last day. I cannot extend. I will not be available after today.” You don’t have to give reasons. It’s going to be uncomfortable. Just focus on how comfortable and nice it will be to never have to deal with these people again after 5pm.

  14. Asenath*

    LW 2- I agree with the comments here; but also noticed that your research showed that your salary is about average for your field and location. Don’t let that concern you too much. Obviously, you don’t want to request a raise that’s way out of line with the average, because you would look out of touch. But remember that your increased experience should make you more valuable than average to your employer, even an employer who seems to want you to do some kind of vaguely-defined extra work before you get a raise.

    1. IM LW2*

      I think that’s where I get tripped up in logic. X experience vs marketed job openings’ salaries based on the same years of experience (granted different industries) and I’m left thinking wow, my salary is actually more than these already. So leaving looks like less of an option but staying means not enough. And research gives me no legs to stand on to ask for a raise.

      1. Snow Globe*

        Looking at market salary ranges can be helpful, but not always completely accurate because different jobs can have similar titles but vastly different responsibilities. The point is that your employer thought this was a reasonable salary three years ago, and in that time you’ve both grown in your skills and taken on new responsibilities. By their own logic, you should have received a pay increase every time you took on a new task. So you are asking for that now.

        1. IM LW2*

          Thank you. Those a great points. The company has never balked at my overtime but at the same time encourages a healthy work life balance. I’ve started trying to meet the goal of getting everything done in 40 hours and saw the impact on my paycheck. That’s when I realized there’s been no increases for some time and that my pay, clear, each week was really not really going to cut it and I am not living large by any stretch.

        2. Big Ol’ Beet*

          Agree this is a good way to think about it. Another angle: since you’ve had no COLA you’ve been taking a pay cut every year since the salary was established. By their logic you should have responsibilities taken away. It really is unreasonable for them to expect not to give people COL adjustments.

        3. JustaTech*

          Yes, seconding this hard!
          There’s an organization in my area that has the worst title inflation I’ve ever seen, across a staggering number of departments. “Senior HR specialist” = make copies. (That’s not what folks with that title do at any other org in our area.)
          “Scientist I” = straight out of grad school, no post-doc, no experience. (Anywhere else requires at least a post-doc if not several years of experience plus a doctorate.)

          Once you know you’re not surprised and you know to apply for jobs at a much higher title, but it’s annoying because it brings down the regional average pay for these titles (because the title may be inflated but they’re paying non-profit rates for the work you’d actually do).

      2. ecnaseener*

        Your current salary is more than *some* of the openings, if it’s average – don’t trick yourself into thinking “leaving is less of an option” just because you’re not at the very bottom of the range. Leaving is very much an option, for one of the openings offering a higher salary (or even your current salary with COL increases!)

          1. Mostly Managing*

            Here’s the thing, too – you can look for other jobs, interview, even get an offer and still decide not to take the new job because the salary’s not what you’re after.
            Happens all the time.
            Put yourself out there, see what’s around, have a few interviews, and maybe something amazing will come along.
            You have a job that more or less keeps you afloat. So you are job hunting from a position of financial security. It’s not a bad place to be.

            1. IM LW2*

              The same advice I’ve given to friends. Why is it so hard to put it into practice for ourselves? Sigh.

      3. Koalafied*

        It’s also common for the hiring range for a position to top out lower than the overall pay range for the position. My company sets the hiring range at 0-100% of market median and the overall range at 0-200% of median.

        Their rationale is that experience in the industry/type of work isn’t the same as experience in X specific role at our organization, so even for very senior jobs where people come in with a lot of experience required, it’s still expected that they’ll produce less initially as they’re being trained formally on internal procedures, and less formally, they’re learning over time the tricks and tips to being effective in the context of our specific work environment. Hiring only into the bottom half of our pay band leaves room to retain those employees with raises as they become more competent.

        That said, I know exactly what golden handcuffs feel like. I’ve been at my job over a decade and am in the upper half of my pay band. I’ve looked around and if I were to make a lateral move to a comparable position elsewhere, I’d have to take a pay cut because employers aren’t starting new hires at my level at the salary level that it took me years of raises to attain. Those big raises people get when they switch jobs generally mean 1) they took a more senior role or 2) they were underpaid. I’m not paid obscenely well but I’m not underpaid, so if I want to earn more elsewhere I’d need to be looking at moving up to a more senior role. I’ve already been promoted as high as I care to rise, so ultimately it’s more to my advantage to stay here and keep inching my way towards my pay cap one annual raise at a time while staying out of the high-stress upper management roles that I’m not interested in subjecting myself to.

      4. Cj*

        I don’t know if you have a job that can be done remotely, but if you do, try looking for jobs where the wages are better but they pay the same to employees that live in lower cost of living areas.

        I was paid average wages for my area, and had I changed jobs to another local firm, I probably would have gotten about a 15% bump, if that. But I start a new job on Monday that is a 44% increase, because they pay wages for the higher cost of living area where they are located. Plus since it is fully remote, I’m not only save the commute time, but the cost of gas for that commute, which would have been about $12 to $15 a day with gas prices where they’ve been for the last couple months.

      5. RebelwithMouseyHair*

        But in looking elsewhere, you could maybe aim higher? More responsibility in return for a considerable pay bump?

    2. IM LW2*

      That’s another reason I’ve been researching. I want to have good, reasonable data when we talk so I am realistic with my requests.

  15. Bad Crocheter*

    LW1, if your performance at your new job is suffering, you could pay dearly for staying at your old job. Even if your performance isn’t enough to get you fired, it can still affect your first opportunity for a raise. That can have a cumulative effect, as your future raises will add to the salary you’re making at that time, not to the salary you would have been making if not for that first bad review. In short, if you miss out on a $1000 raise at your first review, your salary may be $1000 low forevermore. You got a new job because you were very dissatisfied with the old one; don’t let it ruin your new job, too.

  16. Irish Teacher*

    LW1, I think the longer you stay, the more pressure you are likely to feel TO stay. The company has less incentive to find a replacement if they think you are willing to stay on and cover for as long as they need you to. Why would they bother interviewing and taking on somebody else who might not be as good as you and certainly won’t have your experience? My guess is they won’t start looking seriously unless you DO leave.

    Your leaving might even have benefits for the company as it might force them to actually take action and realise that they need to deal with the reasons everybody is at risk of being overworked and thinking of leaving, rather than just relying on you to sort things.

    But that’s not the main issue anyway. As Alison says, it’s not your responsibility. Sure, doing them a favour for a week or two was kind, though even that was far from necessary, but you need to set a limit on it.

    LW3, I hadn’t thought of that, but wouldn’t be at all surprised if covid played a part. As teachers, we are constantly being reminded to be aware that students have had 2-3 disrupted school years, that it is likely some students have not been engaged while at home, that there have been many pressures on them, that they have missed out on all kids of things, etc… And the same is true for adults.

    It’s also possible that employers are only now SEEING some problems that have been ongoing for quite a while. I know our resource team had a problem where we only realised a student’s need for access to a laptop in their exam in their 3rd year, because the school went online halfway through 1st year and then 2nd year was so disrupted and nobody had the opportunity to come to us about the difficulties with this student’s writing and by the time it WAS reported to us…well, it was unlikely to be granted because the department would likely say “well, he managed for two years without one; why does he need one now?” This is a little off-topic, but my point is that if people were working remotely, some issues would not have arisen or employers could miss them. Somebody who is regularly late for work, for example, wouldn’t be noticed if they were remote. It might not matter if they start work at 9 or 9:30 when they are online, but might matter quite a lot when they are meeting clients. Somebody who is rude or abusive towards coworkers or disrespectful towards those in authority might not be noticed if they are all working from separate locations or their rudeness might be assumed to be just people misreading their e-mails, whereas in person, the tone might make it obvious that no, they didn’t just phrase it badly.

    I’d also suggest that some people may not have had the opportunity to be fully-trained. If somebody joined a company when it was remote and is now back in the office and performing badly, it may be that they lacked support when starting in their role.

  17. Gnome*

    OP3 – I agree with Alison, but would add one more thing…

    I think that as time has gone on, managers have increasingly overcome their own pandemic issues (and let’s face it, a LOT of folks were just trying to figure it out to keep things running two years ago and doing a combination of putting out fires and the top priorities to keep things running) and are trying to get back to normal. But they ALSO gained skill at overseeing remote workers. So I think a lot of the folks who have struggled – particularly with remote work – are now seeing that combination of impacts. The increased time/skill/ability to manage remote workers, increased expectations because we’re not “just getting by” anymore, and managers getting some of their fires put out and having more bandwidth to manager.

    On last thing… While I am generally a huge fan of teleworking, there are people who obviously scam the system. I personally know somebody who was fired for “working” two full time jobs with the same core hours and also had an employee “busy supporting team A” when team A reported they weren’t available because of support to team B. My spouse has heard obvious video game playing during working meetings where people really needed to follow along with documents, etc. You can only waive it off as “the kids” so many times, especially when the kids are about 6 and the game is for teens (think loud shoot-em-up with lots of gore). I am increasingly seeing these folks being managed more actively, which could account for a portion of it.

    1. Dust Bunny*

      Yeah, my workplace lost WFH privileges for awhile years ago (well pre-pandemic) because too many of the people who were using it the most were also not getting much done when they did. But most of those people are gone now–they either shaped up or were laid off (later, due to industry changes and not because of the WFH thing). We were all WFH for a year in 2020-2021 and that went well, so we have limited WFH back again, although none of our jobs can be fully remote so we sort of reserve it for days when the weather is bad or we’re waiting for repairmen, etc. (We also have plenty of PTO but sometimes you’d rather get your to-do list cleared.)

  18. I should really pick a name*

    I really don’t understand how a company can get away with not giving raises.
    Every job I’ve ever had, including high school part time jobs, had annual raises. They weren’t always good raises, but there was always something.

    To me, not giving annual raises is sufficient reason to look for work elsewhere.

    1. IM LW2*

      I’ve been talking with friends in similar positions about their experience with wages. All have reported they don’t get them annually. Or every other year. Or with the last several years. They don’t get cost of living increases either.

      1. irene adler*

        I’ve worked at a small company for decades. There was an entire decade of no raises. And times when we received annual raises-beyond COL.

    2. Person from the Resume*

      small, family-owned company

      I’m pretty sure that’s the answer.

      No cost of living adjustments and no raises without answering that asinine question are all just about the family/owners making more and more money each year on the backs of the non-family employees. Non-family employees make the same (but less in real value without the COLA) while the family earns more each year or at least breaks even.

    3. Nupalie*

      Wow. My small business and govt employers never did annual raises. The only annual raises I ever received were as mgmt in factories with a union workforce. I have friends in an industry where no raises for 3-5 years at a time was fairly common until 2021.

      1. Person from the Resume*

        FYI: The US federal government gives annual wage increases usually between 1-2%. It’s not tied to inflation or COLA just congress votes on it every year. At least this way you’re not totally losing to inflation; although, it doesn’t entirely keep up.

        OTOH no one gets a promotion. If you want to be promotoed/move up, you have to apply and complete with other applicants for a higher position/grade.

        There are raises for time in grade. Every two years in a grade, you get a bit more until you top out at the max and then nothing unless you apply for and get a job in the higher grade.

      2. to varying degrees*

        Same. When I worked for local government raises were determined (both if they were given at all and if so, how) every year. For almost a decade there were no raises at all and then it moved to either a flat rate or a merit rate, the metrics of which were constantly being changed from year to year. I don’t think any raise ever exceeded 5%. COLA was not something that was ever done (still isn’t).

    4. Dust Bunny*

      Areas with limited job availability. If it’s the no-raise job or possibly no job, you take the no-raise job.

    5. ThatGirl*

      My husband, up until about a month ago, worked at a smallish university in a big city that gave like… one raise in the 11 years he was there. It was university-wide, not specific to him or his department at all. He stayed because – up until this past academic year, anyway – he liked his manager and his team and didn’t think he’d be able to find a new job in the same field. Of course, he was wrong about that last part, but it wasn’t until he got a new boss and some things went south quickly that he decided to go looking.

      (I actually don’t know if his new job – also at a university – gives out annual raises or not, but he got an over 50% raise by switching jobs so … he’s not complaining.)

    6. Generic Name*

      They can get away with it because workers collectively tolerate it. I’m not victim blaming here; it’s very difficult to enact change from the bottom up. It took basically every restaurant worker in the country going “lol nope” to the terrible working conditions and low pay for the pay to start increasing a teeny bit. And I don’t think conditions have changed much at all, based on how understaffed most restaurants seem to be. People still don’t want to work at those places for higher pay.

      It’s even harder in rural areas where jobs are scarce. BUT there’s nothing stopping you, LW from applying to other jobs. Don’t talk yourself out of being treated fairly. Have a conversation with your boss. If they deny a raise, continue your job search (you should start looking now- a company that does not give raises does not value you or your work). And if they deny your raise, think twice about going above and beyond in the future. Do your job satisfactorily, but don’t kill yourself by taking in extras.

      1. IM LW2*

        No, you’re right. It takes two to tango. There are pluses to the job. I like my boss. I like the flexibility I get. I had some hard times and was incredibly supported. We’ll see how the money discussion goes.

    7. Katie*

      Granted, I have only worked for corporations, but yes there is always a prescribed annual raise time. Now sometimes they have declared that due to economic reasons they are not giving raises this year. I have always even had a hard time excepting that but at least there was a set standard.

      1. WantonSeedStitch*

        I work at a university, and it’s the same here. You might get more or less of a raise depending on your performance during the year, and raises tend to be small (smaller than inflation lately for sure), but they’re predictably there.

    8. Esmeralda*

      I really don’t understand how a company can get away with not giving raises.
      Every job I’ve ever had, including high school part time jobs, had annual raises. They weren’t always good raises, but there was always something.

      That is very nice for you. But oftentimes, “look for work elsewhere” is not a viable option. Recession, spouse/partner job location means limited opportunities, geographic area has limited options in your field/your position, other factors (for me: my son’s hospital was 35 minutes away and we went there weekly for several years, employer didn’t offer raises but PTO was good and manager was compassionate; now I have a spouse with serious health issues and my current manager is supportive of me flexing to take care of him — I can’t be sure a new job will do that) restrict ability to leave, etc.

      “Look for work elsewhere” is “easy” right now for some fields and some kinds of jobs. But not all.

      1. Raboot*

        They didn’t say looking elsewhere was easy and your comment is falling into “not everyone can eat sandwiches”.

    9. Gyne*

      Healthcare – in a private clinic, it has been definitely hard to manage giving raises. I own a practice and until we partnered with private equity and joined a network of other similar practices nationwide, insurers either froze or cut our reimbursement for the same procedures every year. We simply did not have the leverage to negotiate rate increases, even in line with COL and inflation. We still did our best to give out COL and merit increases but when you earn less every year for doing the same job, that money has to come from somewhere, and that somewhere was me. So while my staff had salary bumps every year, I was on a stable downward trajectory and took home a little bit less every single year. This is the first year I’m potentially on track to match the salary I had when I started working. (And yes, I’m always looking for the right opportunity to leave medicine!)

    10. Sabine the Very Mean*

      The state agency I worked for until months ago hasn’t given any single increase to any pay bands in 9 years.

    11. My Useless 2 Cents*

      Supposedly we are supposed to have reviews and possible raises every year in August, however, I haven’t had a review in over 8 years and haven’t had a raise in 5. Company gets away with it because we are in a small town with very few job options.

  19. EPLawyer*

    LW1 — I just really want to emphasize something Alison said:

    You cannot care more about a company YOU DON”T EVEN OWN than the boss.

    This is NOT your circus, NOT your monkeys.

  20. David*

    LW3 – Is it possible that you are also just getting to the point in your career that you are becoming more aware of PIPs? Most people not in management aren’t ever told that other people are on PIPs, but if you’ve recently advanced you could be seeing this more than in the past, especially if the pandemic paused things for the past few years. I’m guessing your friends are around your age and so could be experiencing something similar.

    1. IM LW2*

      Yep. The logic part of my brain knows this. It does. Scary though. Plus I really like my work. I like my boss. I get along with all my co-workers. We’re a good team. That’s hard to find. But it also doesn’t pay my grocery bills and mortgage.

      1. Hlao-roo*

        You like your work, boss, and coworkers, which puts you in a really good position to do two things:

        1 – ask your boss for a raise
        2 – start a casual job search

        You can do both of these at the same time! A casual job search does not mean you must leave your current job; it just gives you a better idea of the other options that exist. Apply to a few jobs that look interesting and if you interview with them, evaluate the company/role on pay and on the work, the work-life balance, the vibes you get from the boss and potential coworkers.

      2. Hen in a Windstorm*

        What empirical evidence do you have that “That’s hard to find”? Quantify it. How many interview have you been on? How many bad jobs have you had that were not like that? The whole point of interviewing is to find another situation that you will enjoy. I bet you’re telling yourself a story about how “hard” it will be so that you don’t have to do anything, because change is scary.

        Separate out your feelings from the facts. Deal with the fear – it comes from uncertainty, but your brain is doing you a disservice here. The devil you know is not paying you enough. How can it be worse somewhere else, when you will at minimum be starting with a better salary?

      3. PollyQ*

        But it also doesn’t pay my grocery bills and mortgage.

        Please keep reminding yourself that there is LITERALLY nothing more important than this when it comes to employment (unless you’re independently wealthy). The purpose of a job is earn money to pay your living expenses. If your job isn’t doing that, then all the other things about it are nearly irrelevant. Put it another way, do you like your co-workers enough to starve and live on the street for them?

      4. pancakes*

        You can continue liking one another and getting along with one another if you take another job, or should be able to. You shouldn’t have to replace all these people as friends or stop talking to them or anything as extreme as that as a result of finding a new employer who believes in paying people fairly. I know that’s not the entire risk of moving on – there’s also the question of whether you’ll like the new coworkers as well. That’s always going to be a risk in looking for a new position, though, and not in itself a good reason to accept subpar pay.

  21. Person from the Resume*

    LW#1, the purpose of two weeks notice is NOT to give the company time to hire your replacement and especially not time to hire and for you to train your replacement.

    You say this is a PT job with hours that doesn’t overlap with your new job. It sounds something like retail. That might mean it is actually fairly easy to hire new employees and maybe they could be hired in 2 weeks if your boss was making it her priority. But in non-retail jobs, medium to large businesses, it takes longer (often much longer) than two weeks to hire qualified people. Often the interviews won’t even start for more than two weeks and hiring takes moneths. So roles sit empty with someone taking on extra tasks untils someone new is hired.

    The two weeks gives your boss time to come up with a game plan. You can wrap up any projects you’re working on or pass necessary information to your coworker who is taking over your duties until your replacement is hired. You write up all your processes (you can start that earlier) and share them so that someone can take over for you. Or in retail where you are one of many so there’s not info to transfer, it’s gives your boss time to write or adjust the next schedule or without you on it. That way your coworkers aren’t stuck being told they need to come in tomorrow because you quit. They might be told their schedule a few weeks in the future is changing because you quit.

    You gave your boss 2 weeks notice, 2 months ago! Tell her today that today is your last day. She’s procrastinating hiring anyone new because she’s convinced you to keep working there. If you stop showing up she will either make that her priority and find someone or dump it on your coworkers, but that’s her decision. She emotionally manipulated you into working two jobs and your performance is suffering at YOUR NEW JOB because of it. She doesn’t care about you or your coworkers. If she did, she would have handled those dissatisfying work conditions that led you to quit in the work place. If she cared about you and your coworkers, she would not be running the place desperately short-staffed in the first place.

    Finally what would you have done if the work hours had not overlapped? You would have told her “no” I’m sure. tell her “no more” now. You are tired and overworked and much, much worse your performance at your new job – the one you’re counting on – is suffering. You need to stop working for you old boss immediately.

  22. tennisfan*

    OP2, can you use the question “what more you can take on?” as an opening to lay out a vision for a promotion? For example, you move into an Office Manager role (or other appropriate title), which comes with certain responsibilities that will respond to clear areas of need within the company. In turn, the company will hire a new Admin Assistant to replace you. Or, if the company won’t expand its staffing footprint right now, you can argue for a title like Admin Specialist that reflects both the greater complexity of work you’ve already been performing and establishes a new upper bound for your work going forward. The risk with the latter approach is them expecting you to do the jobs of two people, but maybe it might be worth doing for say, six months, then leveraging your new title and higher salary to get a new job with better work-life balance.

    Maybe the above doesn’t appeal to you, but bottom line, I’d suggest expressing in any conversation about this that obviously your strong performance as recognized by them merits a raise, but you only have so much bandwidth and any new tasks you take on requires offloading of old tasks. Otherwise, the only way to get a raise would require you get to the point of being expected to work every day, all hours of the day, which the company has to know is a ridiculous endpoint for their framing of this conversation.

    1. IM LW2*

      This is essentially what I’m aiming for in the conversation I want to have. What are my options? Where is this heading? What opportunity is there to grow and increase the salary?

  23. Nupalie*

    LW #1… I’ve been in your shoes. Worked part time for a company where the owner was legendary for ‘not letting people quit’. It took most employees at least 2 tries to quit, and it took me 3. We all joked about it because it had happened to so many of us. Boss/owner would lay heavy guilt trip, act helpless, tell us she’d have to close the business if we left her high and dry.
    It REALLY throws most people for a loop to get all of this personalized drama suddenly in a business interaction. We’d be so flummoxed that we’d agree to stay for a while…
    My advice is – if you want “out”, then set a date and stick to it. But make sure you never want to come back, because a boss who runs their business by playing your emotions ….likely makes most of their decisions based on emotion. You might not ever be rehired (my employer told current employees to shun some former employees ).

    The only folks who managed to quit this (fun part-time) job in her good graces were those who had or manufactured ‘excuses’ to quit – pregnancy, health issues, caring for elderly parents, moving out of state and so on.
    Good luck!

    1. Observer*

      if you want “out”, then set a date and stick to it. But make sure you never want to come back, because a boss who runs their business by playing your emotions

      That’s an easy one. Because that kind of employer turns int a vampire, and going back to a vampire employer is rarely a good move.

      1. Nupalie*

        I guess my specific experience colored my answer LOL. My part time job was so much fun and a great source of tips…but it was a definite one of a kind. Something like giving hot air balloon rides, or setting off fireworks displays, or driving a miniature tour train around the zoo. I knew I could never get back into this niche if I left on bad terms. Luckily the co was sold to a new owner 12 years later – so now I have a fun retirement job .

  24. pinetree*

    OP2, I’m curious if you have a professional development plan (PDP) in place and if you receive annual evaluations. If you do, and you’re being rated well, then it’s strange the company isn’t recognizing that. A good evaluation not accompanied by even a very slight raise would be highly concerning to me.

    If you don’t, I think that’s a sign the company isn’t investing in your development and your future there may be a dead end. Note: This all may be relative for your specific profession, industry and home country, but I think the principle applies regardless. Either the company understands it needs a structure in place that assists employees to navigate their evolving role in the company, or the company doesn’t see that as a priority. If the latter, you’re facing a steep uphill climb for not only raises but your whole overall career if you stay there.

    1. IM LW2*

      No and no. My last assessment was very good. But there are no regular assessments or reviews. But I think it’s the same for all, not just me. I’m going to work in an outline for The Talk. There’s a lot to cover.

  25. RagingADHD*

    LW1, of course your boss hasn’t found a replacement. They don’t need to.

    Bad managers are reactive. They only make decisions when there is no other alternative. After you leave, then they will hire a replacement because it’s urgent.

    Or they won’t, and eventually your former coworkers will get fed up and quit, too. Either way, it’s not your problem anymore.

  26. Doctors Whom*

    LW1, none of the problems you have described are your responsibility. Your boss hasn’t found a replacement because she wheedled you into making it unnecessary. Beat a path to the door and don’t look back, and enjoy your free time!

    LW 5, Location doesn’t need to be on its own line. Just fold it in to the company info:

    Production Whiz
    Llama Products International, Lollypopville AK.

  27. Dust Bunny*

    LW1: Pick a last day and then walk. You’ve given notice. Your company hasn’t hired anyone new because they don’t have to–you’re still there doing the job.

    You can feel badly for your coworkers but 1) it’s not your responsibility and 2) they can quit, too.

  28. Risha*

    LW1, I used to feel like I was letting my employer and coworkers down when I wanted to quit. One time I even turned down a great job offer because I felt guilty and my boss at that time asked me “pretty please” to stay. They did this to another person too then ended up firing her several months later for something that was, imo, complete bs. The woman they fired had a disabled husband at home and she was the only one working, she needed that paycheck and never thought they would fire her for nonsense, especially after she stayed on instead of going to the other job.

    So the lesson of my story is…never feel like you owe a job your loyalty because they will fire/lay you off in a second without any thoughts for how you will survive, or if your paycheck floats the whole family, or whatever. The only thing you ever owe your employer is to give your all during the times you’re supposed to be working and to do your job to the best of your ability. You don’t owe them any loyalty, they’re not your family or friends. Make whatever business decisions make the most sense for you and your family, not your boss or coworkers. Like Alison said, staffing issues are your boss’ problem, she’s the owner. It’s not your problem at all. If you really want to help your coworkers, take that new job now then let them know when any jobs open up for them. Don’t let your boss guilt you, stay strong and let her know on x date, it will be your last day.

  29. Lobsterman*

    LW1, your management is sabotaging your new job on purpose. Your last day was yesterday.

    LW2, your management is exploitative. Get a new job.

    LW3, they’re reducing headcount now that they know how hard they can work you. Get a new job.

  30. toolittletoolate*

    LW #1 Do it. Walk in the boss’ office and tell them today is your last day, you gave notice six weeks ago, and do they want you to stay the day to wrap things up or leave now?

    1. The Original K.*

      I wouldn’t give her any options because she’s showed that she’ll abuse them. If OP wants to finish the day, she can say “today is my last day. I’ll be turning in [whatever equipment] at 5 PM.” Or she could just leave on the spot, but she definitely shouldn’t give Boss a choice of any kind.

  31. CupcakeCounter*

    #1 That company owner is BS-ing you. No interview were lined up/no one hired because you kept agreeing to stay. If you aren’t comfortable with “today is my last day” as Alison suggested (and I whole-heartedly agree with) give a final one-week notice and stick with hit. Make sure all of your coworkers know what is going on as well so the boss/owner doesn’t try to throw you under the bus.

    #3 Going through this right now with a couple of employees. We let a lot slide over the last year as there were management changes, high turnover, and years of poor treatment from previous management before me and the current management team were brought in. Our goal was 6 months of stability before taking significant action and we are still struggling to get there. Part of the issue is that most of these employees had good work product pre-pandemic while working full time from the office. We just reopened the office so the first order of business for those employees was we required a return to office (hybrid – basically if I am in the office so are you while anyone who was at least meeting expectations was allowed to remain remote of they chose) to see if that helped. Unfortunately for one of them it didn’t. I have walked passed multiple time to see them playing games on their phone (hiding it under their desk) while constantly complaining of being overwhelmed and behind. They are currently working about 50% of their previous level and a PIP is on the way.

  32. London Calling*

    Dear OP1 – last year I left a job that I had been doing for a few years. I knew that my replacement was pretty much temperamentally wrong for the job, was probably going to cause a lot of trouble, and was lazy to boot. I was annoyed about that because I knew that she would end up letting down a lot of people I’d worked hard for and cared about, and that suppliers wouldn’t be getting the level of service they expected. But you know what? that was the company’s problem. They’d recruited her, they’d have to deal with her.

    You have resigned. Your loyalty is to you and your new job, to which you’re not giving an optimal performance right now. If you leave – and I sincerely hope that today is your last day – they’ll HAVE to manage. Just like they did before you arrived. Just like my company did before I arrived and after I left.

  33. brjeau*

    LW 1, I want to add that *you* would not be leaving your coworkers in the lurch. Your manager has already understaffed the place to the point that one part-time employee leaving adds a significant burden to everyone else’s workload. That is 100% her problem, not yours.

    1. Observer*

      That’s a good point.

      Your employer is not running “lean”, they are flat out understaffed.

  34. Riot Grrrl*

    Regarding #3: One of the major management challenges in the coming years is going to be how to assess productivity with remote workforces when there is no comparison to go by and you can’t directly observe someone at work.

    In the beginning of the pandemic, it was enough to judge performance based on whatever was already known for a given process or a given employee. The problem is that no business stands still; there are constantly new processes, new products, new employees coming on board. Level-setting has been extremely difficult under these circumstances. Let’s say I’ve just hired a new employee for a position that’s been created for a new product we’re offering to a client–it’s very hard to know how much can be expected of this new person. Is he slow because he’s new? Or is he actually working very quickly but the new product is more complicated than we thought? This is extremely difficult to figure out from a distance. I’ve tried it myself, and it. Is. Hard.

    I suspect the wave of PIPs is partly due to managers beginning to figure out ways to do this and discovering that indeed some employees really are falling short.

  35. Former Retail Manager*

    OP#3….In my experience lots of employees, both new and long-term, were slacking during the pandemic. (Note: I’m not referring to people who had genuine challenges such as illness, caretaking duties or child care issues. I’m talking about long term decreased performance from individuals that didn’t face any of the aforementioned challenges because they told me so.) At my organization, there was a period of time during the pandemic where management was told directly not to let anyone go (bad optics). That period lasted about 6 months and was early on. After that, there seemed to be a noticeable shift in how managers were dealing with performance issues (all talk, no action). Evaluations that would have been lowered were not, counseling sessions were not held and PIP’s were not utilized. Now, as OP 3 pointed out, it’s time to address all of these problems that have been lingering without improvement so that is happening where I am as well. I personally know of at least 6 people that are experiencing some sort of negative consequence related to their performance.

      1. tessa*

        Really? Seems to me that slackers, as noted ìn the post, are the unkind ones. Frankly, I resent the heck out of them.

    1. Firm Believer*

      It’s absolutely true. And recession worries are causing employers to take a hard look at underperformers.

    2. Ellie*

      A lot of people have been living with a high degree of stress over the last 2 years. You don’t think that’s a better explanation than former hard workers having morphed into slackers?

      My cousin is a nurse, she loves her job, and she’s an incredibly hard worker. For the first time in her career she has started saying that if it doesn’t get better soon, she will be quitting. She works double-shifts, showers at work, then showers a second time at home before greeting her children. I jump every time one of my kids sneezes – I can’t take any more time off work, my team needs me, at any one time 20-30% of our workforce is out on sick leave. Its a lot of pressure and there’s still no end to it.

    3. Irish Teacher*

      I’d guess if somebody was exhibiting long term decreased performance there was a reason. If you found lots of people were showing decreased performance during the pandemic, I’d assume there was good reason for this. It could be many things, from being stressed (we need to remember that covid is a serious illness and even people who DIDN’T contract it may have been worried about themselves or vulnerable relatives; I doubt there are many people who didn’t have anybody in their family or friend group who was vulnerable) to struggling to adjust to working from home to lack of onboarding for new people to having to adjust their working practices very quickly.

      It’s also true that people don’t always tell what their problems are. I am surprised to hear that you had numerous people who were not only experiencing decreased performance (not in itself surprising) but who also told you, “I do not have any stresses related to this pandemic. I am not at high risk, know nobody at high risk, do not have any children who I have to care for due to their schools/daycares closing, don’t have any mental health issues that could be exacerbated by living through a global pandemic, etc.” Most people just…don’t announce stuff like that. And to be honest, if somebody specifically said “I’m not stressed by this. I don’t have any mental health problems that could be affected by it,” it would more make me wonder if they WERE stressed and were trying to play it down to their managers because they were afraid of the stigma associated with mental illness. There’s a saying that people don’t fake having problems; they fake being OK.

      If you said you had one employee who was taking advantage of working from home in order to get away with doing less, an employee whose work had been satisfactory but not great all along and had now declined and you knew him or her well and knew they had no children and no health issues that put them at risk and you were pretty sure they had no close relatives at high risk and they were not somebody who usually seemed stressed by health issues. then I’d say it was likely a problem with the employee, but if it’s numerous people, I suspect there is more reason than just “slacking.”

      It could even be as simple as your job is one that is difficult to do under pandemic circumstances. It may not be that they were slacking but simply that the job could not be done properly remotely or that clients were working remotely and that made it difficult to interact with them.

  36. Observer*

    #1 – Still at a job you quit.

    Your boss is playing you.

    Also, you are actually not doing anyone any good by staying on. I’d be willing to bet that one of the reasons that two of your coworkers are thinking of leaving is BECAUSE you are still there – this is a concrete sign of the dysfunction of this company.

    Take Alison’s advice and leave. Tell your boss that you are NOT coming back. If she tries to argue with you, just WALK OUT, then and there. Your coworkers will understand. They truly will.

    1. Observer*

      I want to tell you a story about this.

      Friend #1 was working a job and for a number of reasons HAD to cut their hours back. It was either that or mayhem was going to be the result. The structure of their job was such that this was a very straightforward issue and finding a replacement for Part 2 of the job didn’t have to be a big deal. They gave their boss a decent amount of notice and went on with their next couple of weeks.

      The day before the they were supposed to cut back their hours 3 things happened.

      1. The employee had an incident that proved that they ABSOLUTELY HAD to cut their hours back, and perhaps had given their boss too much time to find a replacement.

      2. Boss came to them and asked “pretty please” and then some, if they could continue their work because they tried SO HARD to find someone but the person they settled on “flaked out”.

      3. I got a call from Friend#2 who told me that they had just started a new job. And it’s so funny because they had interviewed with “Other Job”, but although they thought the interview process went well, Other job basically told them “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” So they basically did what Alison suggests and continued look for a new job. And they found a new job that wanted them to start immediately – which they did. And “Other Job” called them the first day and “New Job” asking them to take their job. They said no.

      OP, Other Job was the employer of Friend #1, and the job they had in mind was the replacement position for Friend #1′ s shortened hours. Their “new employee” had not FLAKED, they had simply gone ahead and found themself a job instead of waiting around for Other Job to deign to offer them a job!

      OP, I don’t know what actually is happening with your boss. And it *is* genuinely difficult to fill positions. But it’s also true that many employers are having a hard time because they simply refuse to deal with reality *as it is* rather than how it “should” be (in their view) or how it “used to be”.

  37. zinzarin*

    “Tell your boss today that you can’t extend your notice any further, your new job needs you, and this is your last day.”

    LW1: I think Alison phrased her advice wrong. *Call* your boss today and tell them that *you’ve already worked your last day.* You will not be coming in for any more shifts, effective immediately.

  38. Observer*

    Does that mean I can never get a raise and am stuck at my current salary forever? That’s not sustainable and expenses certainly don’t stand still. So does this mean this is it and I’m just… stuck?

    No. It means that you will probably need to job hunt, though.

    Lots of luck and I hope you find a better employer quickly!

  39. irene adler*

    #1: OP, if you have deep concern for the welfare of your soon-to-be-ex co-workers, offer to help with their job search.
    Be a reference, or pass along job openings you come across.
    If you have the time, offer to review a resume or do a mock interview with them.
    Be supportive of their job search efforts.

    Their current job situation will not improve. That fact is clear. They will have to do as you did-scram. And only they can do that work-just as you did.

  40. ENFP in Texas*

    LW#1 – “I’m letting you know that today is my last day. When you asked me to stay for a week, I was willing to help out. But that was six weeks ago, and I cannot continue working here beyond today.”

    End of conversation.

  41. Just Your Everyday Crone*

    I’d also advise LW#2 to think about whether she’s added tasks, made improvements, or become more productive in some measurable way in the office in the past two years. If so, when they ask what more she can do, she can point to the things she’s already doing. Not to justify the company’s thinking, it’s ridiculous, but highlighting one’s accomplishments when asking for a raise is more normal.

    1. IM LW2*

      I’ve been trying to keep an ongoing list of accomplishments. The hard part is my stuff isn’t measurable in, for example, a sales way where I can point and say, “I helped generate $500,000.00 in sales for this quarter!” Or “I helped save the company $10,000.00 this month.” I pump out work. I start a project, I finish the project. So I sometimes struggle with examples.

  42. Trek*

    OP1 The only thing I would add is to email HR if you have one and explain when you gave notice and that you extended your notice to help out my boss and department. No one has been hired and there does not appear to be a resolution on the horizon so you are resigning again effective y date. State that you want the notice noted so that you are not marked down as ‘quit without notice’. This shouldn’t go against any reference you have in the future but whether you can use this job as a reference is up to you.

    1. Person from the Resume*

      Her boss is the owner of this business. There’s probably not an HR person – certainly no HR department. Her boss, the owner. will be the person giving out any references for her. The reference will be what it will be, but LW can’t do anything more to change what the boss says about her.

  43. Parenthesis Dude*

    LW2: First of all, I applaud you being willing to interact with us in the comments section. You don’t have to agree with me, but I’m glad to know that the ideas are being read. Thank you.

    I feel like you’re assuming a lot about your employers that may or may not be accurate. For starters, they did give you a generous raise three years ago. Did you ask for a raise at that time? If not, it shows that they’re willing to look at the amount of work you’re doing and give you an increase on their own initiative. If they’ve done it once, maybe they’ll do it again. You’re worrying too much about your co-workers and not enough about you.

    This doesn’t mean you should just wait for them to give you a raise. It’s important to have a discussion, especially after three years with no raises, to know what they’re thinking. They will give you some helpful insights that will let you know whether you’re on the shortlist for a raise, about to get a raise, or don’t have a chance at getting a raise anytime soon.

    You did mention that your research suggests that you’re getting paid an average amount for what you do. If so, you may not be worth much more. In that case, you should have a discussion with your bosses about what other high-level work you can do to contribute more, and what low-level work that you’re doing already that you can stop doing. The answer to “what more are you willing to take on?” is to say that given my experience level, how can we re-envision my position so that I’m more valuable to the team. You want to be the senior admin assistant working 40 hours, not the admin assistant that does so much work they need to work 80 hours. But if you have some ideas about how you can help, that would be great for your employers to know.

    I do agree with you about the COL raises. That’s worth bringing up regardless.

    1. IM LW2*

      The raise came out of the blue and they have always been complimentary about my work. So it could be a discussion about salary would be more open for me. Guess we won’t know til I open the door. And what you outlined is exactly the kind of conversation I’m looking to have and I’m all about trying to find solutions and options and how to bring more value.

  44. Fluffy Fish*

    OP2 – Please know there are healthy workplaces where you actually don’t need to always justify a raise because they have a system in place to ensure employees are compensated fairly and on an annual basis.

    Regardless of whether they give that raise, you should look for a new job. Because asking what work you are willing to take on is an absolute horse poop response and not how it should work in most cases.

  45. Nomic*

    LW1: Others have made a good point that your old boss doesn’t seem very interested in replacing you. I want to focus on your new job. There are more ways to jeopardize your new job that just being fired for always being tired. If you’re working 60 hour weeks there is no way you are focusing properly on a new job. You owe it to yourself to quit TODAY so you can give proper work focus where it belongs (not to mention having a life outside of work).

    Secondly, your old boss is going to ask for “two more week”. You know they are. Pack your car before you say today is your last day. When you leave, make sure you know you AREN’T GOING BACK. Say all your goodbyes, and say to yourself you are going to do this. Because Monday there IS going to be an “emergency that absolutely needs you”. The emergency isn’t your fault. They’ve had two MONTHS to replace you. You have to let it to.

  46. ABCYaBye*

    LW1 – I’d guess that your boss hasn’t done a search in good faith. Perhaps they have candidates flaking on them for a variety of reasons, but I’d put a good amount of money out there to wager that they’re not paying well enough to be competitive. If that’s the case, there will be zero resolution for quite some time. And that’s not your problem to solve. The work load and staffing will get better when they realize they need to pay for talent.

  47. LB*

    OP1 I would implore you to really examine this sentence from your letter: “One more week” turned into two more weeks…

    That’s a very passive way to describe your own agency here- you stayed an extra week, we’re (outrageously) asked for more, and said yes? And kept saying yes? Working two jobs at once, exhausting yourself when you’re supposed to be making a good first impression on your new job? It wasn’t a fait accompli, each of those days you still decided to stay at your own unreasonable detriment.

    Walk away immediately and I would really encourage you to reflect on whether you’re a doormat in the other parts of your life, or whether you feel like you can’t say no when you’ve already said yes. I’m sympathetic to your conscientious attitude, but this should be a wake up call that you may be chronically letting yourself be taken advantage of.

  48. kiki*

    LW 1: Six weeks is more than enough time to find a replacement for a part-time job or at very least line up a temp. It’s possible there has been some sort of specific hold-up, but I feel like the more-likely situation is that boss feels like they have you indefinitely, so hiring is not longer being done with the priority and urgency it should be.

    As some other commenters have said, two weeks notice isn’t actually given with the expectation a company will find a replacement in that time– it’s given to ensure your responsibilities are delegated out and enough folks have the proper training to fill-in. A well-run company would never put themselves in a situation where one departure will so adversely affect them.

    You have done your company a tremendous favor already– you don’t need to be on the hook forever just because you’re generous.

  49. NoIWontFixYourComputer*

    Along the lines of the LW4, how do you handle a situation where a company you worked for no longer exists, either through acquisition or just going out of business?

    As an example, I worked for Teapot Manufacturer A, which got acquired by Drink Urns Inc. Later on Drink Urns Inc. got acquired by Food Preparation Conglomerated.

    At this point in time, it’s been 20 years, and there’s probably zero chance that they can confirm that employment.

  50. Ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss*

    Many years ago, I asked for a raise. I believed my performance had been above average and the management acted like my belief was well founded. They replied “Oh!” and “Oh, um…” and then asked me to work an extra half-hour to get more money by working more rather than reward me for a job well-done. I declined working longer and found a new job.

    Find a new job. Employers that demand “what more will you do?” and don’t give COLA increases lose good staff.

  51. Just Another Zebra*

    OP1, let me tell you a story. Years ago, I gave notice at OldJob. The business was not doing well, and I was frankly tired of retail. I knew it wasn’t a good time – the store had just hired a new SM, the ASM was a flake, and most of the veteran staff had left. The District Manager begged, pleaded, and cajoled me into helping out “just a little bit”. I ended up working every Sunday, open to close. In some ways, this benefitted me, because in addition to my hourly rate (peanuts), I was also being paid out my commission and bonuses (many, many peanuts). Working 6 full days a week was exhausting, but in my head it was worth it to help keep the store functional.

    Four months later, all my commission had been paid out (minus a few little peanut orders), and I informed my SM that the following Sunday would be my last day. There was begging, crying, cajoling, promises I knew they would never keep. I stood firm. Then they turned to blame. The SM was still ‘unsure’ about scheduling procedure, and the ASM would have to pick up the reports again (an ASM task I was doing and not paid for). I stood firm. The first Sunday that I didn’t have to go into work, and could just lay in bed and veg, was BLISSFUL.

    If you feel it’s right, you can work til the last day your scheduled for / the end of the week / one more weekend, etc. But OP1, there is NO REASON you cannot say to your boss “You asked for 1 additional week of my time. I’ve given you six. Today is my last day.” Do not cave. If she asks for “one more week”, remind her she got six more weeks. If she begs, pleads, cries? Remember that No is a complete sentence.

    1. eveningsummerbreeze*

      >There was begging, crying

      Okay, crying? I know that works on some people, but I just find it manipulative and it makes me mad. I would’ve gotten up and left. I worked temp jobs for many years in my 20s and I think it broke something inside of me. It’s almost impossible to intimidate me anymore. It’s impossible for any kind of cajoling from a manager or supervisor to make me feel anything but annoyed and manipulated. I am at work to do a job, get paid, and go home. If at any point I get tired of working for you for any reason, or if a better opportunity presents itself, I’m gone. I care about your company and about doing my job well to the extent that it serves my purposes. When it no longer does, I’m out.

      I have no patience anymore.

  52. MR*

    I had a Letter of Expectations ready to deliver to one particular employee (government, union shop, that’s where HR wanted me to start), and it was finally approved in early March of 2020. I finally delivered it at the end of 2020 because, quite frankly, with a 2yo at home and supervising a big team through the transition to remote work, I wanted to expend the minimum amount of emotional energy on my problem employee so that I could actually support my good employees through the early pandemic chaos. So I let it slide until the end of 2020, when we finally started down the path, and he voluntarily found a new job after a year or so and bringing his performance up to “barely passable.”

  53. sdog*

    I jumped onto the comments just to see if OP#1 has chimed in yet to tell us that she followed Alison’s advice. Please, OP, I say do it now! Tell your boss that today’s your last day and enjoy a restful weekend. The last thing you want is for this to affect your performance at your new job where you really need to be at the top of your game.

  54. eveningsummerbreeze*

    OP1, seriously just stop going. You gave your notice already. Stop going. I don’t think you even need to say anything.

  55. Eyes to the Sky*

    Allison’s response to number 3 is disheartening. We are not out of a pandemic; the public health emergency act was extended an additional 90 days in July. Companies have expected too much from employees for too long and for those worked doggedly through COVID and short staffing and juggling childcare, a PIP is a slap in the face. Allison, i never thought you were pro corporate America but this is a really poor response in a time where there’s a lot of economic uncertainty, instability in the job market, and the answer you make is very laissez faire.

    1. huh*

      I can’t figure out what you object to. She didn’t say we are out of the pandemic, she said companies are returning to pre-pandemic expectations and said that many people are still affected by the pandemic (like with child care) but employers aren’t accommodating them any more. She didn’t say she endorses that, just that it is happening. What are you taking issue with?

  56. Fun in HR*

    OP1, get out of that first job and don’t look back!

    Op3, I certainly think there is a trend, and it’s one I am thoroughly sick of. People don’t like to admit this, but PIPs are regularly misused and abused by managers who are incompetent, inept, abusive, prone to bullying, and/or otherwise awful. PIPs are not meant to replace training; they are not meant to be put in place when someone has made one, or even a few, errors (especially if they are a new hire); they are not meant to be used at the first sign of a possible “issue” (without even speaking to the employee first); and they are not meant to be used as tool to boost a manager’s ego, let them flex their “power”.

    The vast majority of performance management processes are unwarranted, just like the vast majority of firings are. I’ve seen numerous unwarranted PIPs that are based on “performance problems” that either do not exist at all, are an extreme exaggeration, or are a “problem” that others (or everyone) on the same team also “suffer” from. Most “underperformance” is down to inadequate training, communication, documentation/processes, and/or management.

    Quite frankly, 95% of the time, if you “need” to put someone on a PIP, you’ve failed as a manager. And about 99% of the time, when a manager wants someone put on a PIP, and the PIP request is given to me to approve in HR, a five-minute investigation usually proves that the person who actually needs to be on a PIP is the manager themselves.

  57. Iain C*

    One thing I’ve thought of for #1…

    The best advice is to walk away, as given many times above.

    My second best advice is to make them start caring more than you do. There is no reason for you to stay with the same working conditions!

    Demand more money for this work! And increasing money. If you’re still doing the job for the same cost, where is the incentive to change?

    If nothing else, an ever increasing lump of money will make you feel less bad about it.

    When they inevitably refuse, you’ll have your answer about their timetable for this relaxing this position, and can maybe really away easier.

  58. Calamity Janine*

    the reason you’re seeing more pips is simple: the person who made this orange juice isn’t very good at it yet

    (this joke is incredibly stupid, yet i apologise for nothing.)

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